“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.