“The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps. 103:17).
I want you to think about the mercy of God. Mercy is described as not getting what you deserve or as the Psalms put it, “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” Psa. 103:10).
God extends mercy to you today for all your failure. The mercy of God meets us right at the point of our failure. Where your sin seems so great, his grace and mercy are much greater.
The mercy of God is described as everlasting to everlasting.
I know we don’t usually use the word everlasting in our vocabulary we and at first blush this phrase just seems to be a very emphatic way to describe something that lasts forever but we think about this idea of mercy without end.
We could go in all these theological ramifications of eternity but I want to go at this another way.
This term describes God’s mercy as stretching backward without limit and stretching forward without limit. It has no origin or end. It is unrestricted and boundless. God’s mercy is so overwhelming it is there all the time. God is present everywhere, he knows everything and he is all-powerful. That is pretty deep.
So often we think in terms of God’s mercy by our actions good or bad, especially when we do something especially bad or especially good in our own estimation.
Sometimes we feel God owes us mercy for the good things we do like prayer, or church or helping our neighbor. We love feeling we made something up to God in some way, by some action, so we earned or merited his mercy. As much as we preach to people you cannot make any deals with God, we try, don’t we?
At other times, we feel we will never receive his mercy because we have done something in the past that was so wrong, or we continue to do things we should not do. We feel like we don’t deserve his mercy or forgiveness until we permanently change or repent.
We are strange like that.
But that is not the way mercy works at all. Our works good or bad do not qualify us for God’s mercy. It is not based on human action, it is all about God. God is not limited by what we do, he shows mercy because HE is merciful. He delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18). The God of the Bible is completely different than the false god of manipulative religion marketed today.
I read one commentator who described mercy as God’s “exuberant goodness” (Clarke). I just think that is awesome. God acts in mercy toward us in a lavish, joyful, unrestrained manner. He is generous with his mercy. God has mercy upon you…he has mercy upon me. He loves to show us mercy, freely, unconditionally.
I want to close with the commentary of Mr. Barnes who said that mercy, “had no beginning; it will have no end. There never was a period in the past when it was not the purpose of God to save his people; there never will be a period in the future when it will be said that his saving mercy has ceased.” (Barnes).
I know some are going through painful situations and it is hard to see God’s mercy. We judge his mercy based on our pain. Our own shortsightedness does not allow us to see his mercy at work. But many people later have their eyes opened that it was God’s mercy and goodness that was right on the heels of the difficulty they were going through (Psalm 23:6).
May you understand and see his mercy that never ends in your life today.
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