Ephesians 2:4-5 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
When a former mayor of New York befriended a poor, dejected outcast of society, he was reproved by the prosecuting attorney who said, “That tramp is no good. He’s getting only what he deserves.” Hearing this, the judge interrupted the harsh counselor by asking with a smile, “Did you ever hear of the mother who visited Napoleon on behalf of her condemned son? The emperor told her the young man had committed the same offense twice, and justice demanded the death penalty. ‘But Sire,’ she pleaded, ‘I don’t ask for justice – only for mercy.’ ‘He doesn’t deserve it,’ said Napoleon. ‘No, he doesn’t’ she admitted, ‘but it would not be MERCY if he deserved it.’ ‘You’re right!’ said the ruler quickly, ‘I’ll grant your request and show him mercy!'”
Charles Hodge defines mercy as “kindness exercised toward the miserable, an attribute which includes pity, compassion, forbearance, and gentleness.” Man has but to look at his own nature to see the rebellion, disobedience, and unbelief that lurks there. A race which deserves only the thunderbolts of God’s wrath can rejoice that He is “the Father of mercies.”
Miserable sinners meriting the full measure of His justice have been made the recipients of divine compassion. Defiant rebels condemned by the demands of a holy law have been showered with the goodness and favor of God. How appropriate, therefore, is the psalmist’s joyous declaration, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever” (Ps.89:1). As undeserving sinners, what cause for rejoicing is ours that we through the blood of Christ have obtained the MERCY WE NEED!