One rendition of “The Mercy Seat”, Ark of the CovenantBlessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
When it is in one shows compassion or forgiveness to someone when the one has total control to punish or harm, that is “mercy.” One of the synonyms of mercy that I love is "charity" - the word used for the love between God and man in the New Testament.
When we believe there is a Creator, one who is capable of bringing into being and equally as capable to bring well-deserved punishing destruction, we would live in fear of that destruction. There is biblical proof of God's destruction, and greater biblical proof of His mercy.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:3-5)
That reminds me of what I wrote yesterday – and used often in other blogs – there are none righteous. No, not one. We all have sinned, against one another and against God. He has provided the propitiation for these sins, by His mercy and His grace. I know – propitiation is more than three syllables long. Read it in context: Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2 and 1 John 4:10. God's provision for the "whosoever" of John 3:16.
I see some of myself in that Titus 3:3 list. Oh, I have been foolish, disobedient and deceived. Somehow I think you have, too. I have done things to gain items that gave me pleasure. You haven’t? How about that extra creamy New York cheesecake? Oh, didn’t think that counted? What other “lusts and pleasures” can fall into that “keeping up with the Jones” category. Malice? You have malice toward no one? Not even (insert a malicious thought from recent past)? No – we won’t go through the whole list. We would see ourselves is soooo many mirrors, wouldn’t we?
It is sufficient to know that we have not always been righteous and we’ve fallen short of our goal:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
To be merciful means to be more like God. He’s given instructions for that through Christ:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
When we can be merciful as God was merciful, we obtain mercy. One of the easiest Beatitudes to read and understand, but difficult for us to do. Impossible to do without God.