A while back I was reading a book that contains this statement, “Not because you are sinless, but because He is merciful” and it set my mind to whirling!
How much of what happens in our lives do we chalk up to God’s mercy? How much of what happens do we attribute to luck, good fortune, blessings, karma, or rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot? Amy Grant has an old song about angels watching over us, could that be it?
Are we just so spiritual now that what happens to us (or what doesn’t happen) is a result of our attaining some spiritual plane that has put us above others? Hardly… I can honestly say I don’t know anyone who believes that have arrived spiritually. But to what do we credit the things that occur in our daily lives? Why does God help us?
The Bible says
- Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
- God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
- O give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain. Psalm 60:11
- For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper. Psalm 72:12
- If the LORD had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence. Psalm 94:17
- Help me, O LORD my God; Save me according to Your loving kindness. Psalm 109:26
- Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Why does He show us mercy? Why does God not give us what we deserve?
- And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, Romans 9:23
- …so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. Romans 11:31
- …and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, And I will sing to Your name.” Romans 15:9
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us… so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
We are shown mercy because we need it. We need a reprieve from what we have coming to us precisely because we are so sinful. We are the afflicted; we are the dead, the transgressors… Our ugliness and His redemption of us, while we were in the ugliest state possible, bring Him unbelievable glory. All other gods require us to come to them clean and add to our goodness. Jehovah God is the only God who takes us as we are; dead in our trespasses and sins, living in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and by nature children of wrath.
Are you getting the idea? We were not shown mercy and given help because we were so good, but because we were so evil. God did not add His goodness to ours and make us better; He added His goodness to our sinfulness and made us clean. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.
God helps us and shows us mercy because it glorifies Himself. May He be forever glorified on earth and in the heavens!
Amen and Amen.