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The Magnitude of Divine Mercy

posted Mar 6, 2014, 9:32 PM by hbchurch org

Gracious is Jehovah, and righteous;

yea, our God is merciful.

Psalm 116:5

   I am not sure if its more of a “guy” thing or merely a recognition of our mortality, but big things usually grab our attention. Seven foot, 300+ lb. men get second looks. Tall buildings intrigue us. Mighty mountains are objects of millions of pictures, paintings, and poetic lyrics (...purple mountain’s majesty…). Is our fascination with bigness accidental or by design? I am persuaded God made us so that the enormity of certain physical phenomena would capture our imagination. Without such an awareness, how could we ever stand in awe of the person and attributes of God? Apart from a consciousness of His character, we would have little or no reason to even think about Him.

   Most people who believe in God are quick to accept and espouse the reality of His incomparable being. There are many places in the Bible where God is described by figurative language meant to boggle the mind. Who among us can fathom a hand large enough to hold all the waters of the world? (Isaiah 40:12). The realist will cry, “impossible”, but that’s the point. God wants us to realize that He is much greater than we can even begin to imagine. Every hue of His being is more resplendent than the most vivid picture any artist could ever paint. Yet, God intends for us to utilize our divinely-designed reasoning ability (Isaiah 1:18) and eventually wrap our minds around Him, i.e. His “everlasting power and divinity” (Romans 1:20).

   What we learn about Him from creation is expanded upon by the Bible. One trait of His being is mercy. The root word for mercy in Psalm 116:5 comes from a Hebrew term meaning, “I love deeply; have mercy, be compassionate” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament). It is used frequently of God in contexts that portray Him as a Father who cares deeply for His children. We all know that loving fathers give their all (grace) to benefit their children. They always want what is right (righteousness) for them and their compassion (mercy) is immeasurable. However, God’s mercy exceeds man’s by million plus miles. It can’t be quantified and herein lies a danger. It’s easy for us to forget about intangibles, but we must not let the magnitude of God’s mercy fade into oblivion. Without divine mercy, we have no hope; we are dead in sin. But how can we keep a fresh image of this truth before us?

   In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus told Peter about a man who owed his master an enormous amount of money, something equivalent to our national debt. He pled for mercy and his master forgave him the debt. “Wow”, you might say, “he would never forget that!”, but he did. He let his own personal interests obscure the magnitude of his master’s mercy. We can do the same if we let Satan clutter our brains with self-centeredness and mundane concerns. Daily meditation upon His divine character will help us remember how much we need all spiritual blessings, especially His mercy. Refresh your mind daily by reading His word so that you don’t lose your perspective of the magnitude of divine mercy.   Ken Dart