The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm. – Proverbs 11:17
Psalms 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
5 Then the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh.
6 The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
7 I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown: his sceptre shows the force of temporal power, the attribute to awe and majesty, wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway; it is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself; and earthly power doth then show likest God’s (Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I).
The Father is merciful, compassionate, gracious, and tenderhearted. He does not fail His children nor will He abandon, leave, forsake, or desert them.
The Hebrew word translated merciful is rachum. Rachum is derived from the term rechem which literally refers to a womb of a woman. Upon reflection and delightful word picture unfolds. “The ‘womb’ carries with it a picture of the tender care bestowed on an infant when it is most vulnerable” (NIDOTTE). It conveys the willingness of someone to show favor, be gracious, and compassionate.
When this word is used to describe the Father, it conveys the strong tie He has with those whom He has called His children. He looks upon His own as a human father looks upon his children; He pities them. It also speaks of His unconditioned choice (TWOT).
Psalms 103:13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who reverence him.
He is merciful to His children because He is a committed, loving parent.
Sadly, children of the King forget that He is the Father of mercies. We fail to remember our need for mercy. Our Father extends mercy to us because we desperately need it. Try as we might, even our best efforts continually fall short. We are incapable of living Up to His divine perfections.
Jesus said to them, “it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 2:17
Our failure leads to sadness, grief, and remorse. Consequently, we often come to Him heavy laden with shame and regret. His mercy sees our sad and contrite hearts and He responds with kindness and grace. He lovingly removes the burden and provides forgiveness and restoration.
Psalms 103:14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
REFLECT & PRAY
Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you do not deserve.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness. May I treasure your mercy in my heart.
The Father has been merciful, gracious, and forgiving to us. He wants us to treat others similarly. He wants all children of the King to be defined by gentleness, warmth, and kindness in how they behave towards others.
Matthew 5:7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Being merciful is good for us while being unmerciful is harmful.
Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm.
This can be translated, “A kind heart is full of health and well-being, but a ruthless spirit makes a man sick” (Garrett). “Goodness benefits the one who practices it, but cruelty turns itself against the one who is guilty of it. Be kind to others and you will be rewarded; be cruel and you will suffer the results.”
The point is that a person’s behavior toward others has unexpected consequences: benefits or collateral damage. Sweet mercy, it’s good for you.
One of the main ways to show mercy is through the lenient, gracious forgiveness of others for offenses or wrongs committed.
Habakkuk 3:2 In your anger, remember your mercy.