“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.””
Exodus 34:6-7 NKJV
The only element of God’s character He repeats here...
Is His mercy.
He sits on a mercy seat.
He loves mercy.
His mercy endures forever.
We see this again and again.
It’s by His mercy we are not consumed.
We see Him best in His mercy.
It’s His determination to love us in spite of ourselves.
He shows His mercy by forgiving us...
Forgiving us of our trespasses and sin.
The second verse here says He keeps mercy for thousands of generations.
In the New Living Translation it also says instead of His "keeping mercy," that He "lavishes love."
“I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.”
Exodus 34:7 NLT
So we see His mercy by His unfailing love.
We see His unfailing enduring love through His mercy.
They are synonymous.
We can’t love like Jesus...
Without showing His mercy.
Mercy is undeserved forgiveness.
Choosing to favor someone in spite of what they’ve done.
It’s a decision to overlook...
And see the good in someone.
To see their value above their mistakes.
This is love.
Not imputing sin on people...
Or reminding them or yourself of what they’ve done.
You look at who they are.
We see God's goodness in His mercy.
The word for mercy in Hebrew is “chesed.”
And it’s root means “kind.”
To show kindness is to choose mercy.
The word “chesed” is often translated as “goodness” and “faithfulness.”
So His mercy is seen in His goodness and His faithfulness.
He chooses not to leave us or forsake us...
Because He’s merciful.
So to be a merciful person, we need to show ourselves as faithful and committed no matter what people do.
We love them.
We are kind to them.
We choose to forgive them.
The word “chesed” comes with the idea of pity toward someone.
Instead of choosing to punish them...
God pities them.
He sees our frame.
He sees our weakness...
And He chooses to forgive.
He chooses us.
We see this on the cross.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 NKJV
He chose to be as we are...
So we can be as He is.
He chose to love us in our sin.
He didn’t reject us...
Or throw us away...
Or label us.
He came to us.
He loved us into Himself.
He shows us love before we knew what love was.
And by showing us...
We came to know Him as love.
We became acquainted with love.
He saw we needed love...
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:6 NKJV
We can be weak...
But God gives us His strength...
Through His mercy.
We see ourselves as better through Him.
We see our value...
Through His sacrifice.
And we can see the value in others...
By the same sacrifice He made for them.
We can pity even the more vile sinner.
He doesn’t know love.
We can show them love...
By exhibiting mercy.
“As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.”
Psalms 103:13-15 NKJV
Pitying someone is illustrated by coming down to their level.
Getting in the dirt...
Relating to them...
Not excusing mistakes.
But seeing the need for love.
Being there to show mercy.
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalms 103:10-12 NKJV
He removed us from our sins.
By His mercy.
He doesn’t label us by what we do.
He doesn’t marry us to our sin.
He married us...
To wipe away our sin.
He comes close.
He takes us to another place.
He doesn’t give up on us.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV
Every morning He provides room for our mistakes.
He sees the good.
The word “chesed” is founded upon the idea that you have a zeal toward someone.
Because He’s zealous for us.
He has mercy on us.
“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?””
Genesis 3:9 NKJV
Mercy has a direction.
Mercy has desire embedded in it.
Mercy is what brings God.
Mercy has a desire to make things right.
It brings God’s attention.
He’s looking to get in the same page.
He’s looking to bring us back to Himself.
He wants us more than He wants to judge us.
He wants relationship...
More than He wants to keep a record of wrong.
But chooses to love people who are imperfect.
He chooses to bless and not curse.
Psalm 136 lists all these amazing blessings and exemplary gifts the Lord bestows upon us.
And uses these monumental blessings as evidence of His mercy.
We see His favor in His mercy.
He chooses to bless instead of curse.
Every blessing is a sign of His mercy.
We deserved punishment...
But He gave us everlasting life.
We deserved criticism...
But He gave us His Son on a cross.
To bear your cross daily...
Is to show mercy daily.
Love those who don’t deserve love.
Because His mercy endures forever.
And He wants to show you...
By how you show mercy as He does.
It’s a sermon to you and them.
The enemy comes to accuse.
The Lord comes to excuse.
He wants relationship.
And it’s by His goodness...
His mercy... that people change.
“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
Romans 2:4 NKJV
Repentance comes from people experiencing uncommon love through God’s mercy.
He is long suffering... patient.
He forbears us. He accepts us in spite of our mess.
And He expects more of us.
He wants to love us better...
So we are better.
Is not behaving like Jesus.
He didn’t throw the law at us.
He shed His blood.
Some will reject it...
And that’s what brings condemnation.
But no one will be able to say...
Jesus didn’t love me.
No one will be able to say...
Jesus doesn’t care.
No one will be able to say...
His mercy didn’t find them.
Because His mercy endures forever.
“Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of Lords! For His mercy endures forever:”
Psalms 136:2-3 NKJV
He is the God of gods...
He is the King of Kings...
He is the Lord of Lords...
Because of His mercy.
God bless you.