We love singing about God’s mercy and love. But not everybody dwells in God’s mercy. Is God depriving them of something? Does he have a mean streak?
To answer that, first consider this question: If someone sincerely cries out “Lord, have mercy” would God ever say no?
Never, because “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13b)
But what if someone says, “God, I don’t need your mercy”? And they repeatedly say “No.” Will they receive mercy? No, God lets them stay where they are.
Here’s a friendly warning:
Don’t have a hard heart! To see this at work consider the book of Exodus. Pharoah was warned to let the Israelite people to go. But Pharoah said no and God sent a plague each time Pharoah disregarded the warning. Each plague was worse than the one before it, but Pharoah still did not listen. With each plague he got more stubborn and hardened.
The same thing happens today when people say no. The more they say no the more they become hardened.
King David wrote the following after plotting the death of the husband of a woman he had slept with. David deserved the death penalty for that. Yet, forgiveness was available! Mercy is what we receive instead of the wrath that we deserve.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2)
King David’s plea gave a sneak preview of what was fulfilled later in the arrival of King Jesus.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:4-6)
Here is my cordial plea: Please don’t be like the Pharoah. He did not ask for mercy and it did not work out very well for him. Do you want mercy? Just ask for it in the name of Jesus Christ.