With an open conversation about Christianity, salvation, and Christian living, often times we end up hitting on some hard topics. But the thing about Christ is that Christ Himself is the single most positive message humanity has ever received – our God loves us beyond imagination! He gave His own Son to die for our sins and to rise from the dead so that we might be able to find eternal salvation! How many parents today could say that they would do that? What an incredibly difficult thing to imagine – surrendering your own child so that someone else could live. What grace and what mercy our God has for us!
That’s what we’re going to look at today – how merciful and graceful God is, and has always been.
In today’s society, God is often viewed in a very negative light. I’ve seen God and Christianity described as unkind and vindictive, and I’ve even heard someone say that God is indifferent to people on earth and generally doesn’t care about us at all. Could there possibly be a more false statement?
Also, society in general has become more politically correct, afraid of correcting somebody for fear of hurting their feelings. While we should be mindful of people’s feelings as to not drive them away, we cannot be afraid to spread the truth!
We’ve also seen the removal of God and faith from everyday life. From prayers being taken out of school, to people trying to remove “Under God” from the pledge allegiance, to celebrities being publicly chastised for any mention of Christian faith, people are trying harder and harder to remove God from the world (which is actually funny because we know that we have to search for things that are above, since godliness is not of this world).
So today, we’re going to look at some examples of the grace and mercy that God has towards His people. We’ll examine some instances in both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.
Often times when we talk to people about the Old Testament, they like to bring up and remember all of the wars and fighting and death that is found in it. People will say “Your God isn’t so great, look at all the people He killed!” While there were obviously lots of wars and death, God was always faithful to those who were faithful to Him – Jew and Gentile alike!
So let’s look at the story found in the Old Testament book of Exodus. I feel like everyone should be familiar with this story, but in case you’re not, we’ll give you some back story. Long before this, God had delivered His people – the Jews – into Egyptian slavery as a punishment. And for many generations, the Jews were forced not only into hard labor, but forced to worship the false gods that the Egyptians worshiped. Over time, God was almost completely forgotten about. So when God decided that it was time to make Himself known again and deliver His people from this captivity, He used a man named Moses – born as a Hebrew, spared from death as an infant, and raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter – a very intelligent with many gifts, as any good Egyptian prince would have been. He could read and write whereas the Hebrew slaves could not. What better person to lead God’s people than this man?
God used Moses to lead His people out of captivity, out of Egypt, and into the wilderness. And while they were in the wilderness, Moses wrote down the history of the world and of the Hebrews to that point (Genesis – Exodus) as well as God’s laws (Leviticus – Deuteronomy) that the Jews would follow until the Savior came.
The moral of the story is, all of those Hebrew slaves who were faithful and believed in God were delivered out of their captivity by the grace, mercy, and power of God! Moses describes God in his own words during this time in Exodus 36:6-7, while addressing the Hebrew nation.
“Merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.”
Another example we’ll look at from the Old Testament is from Nehemiah. For those of you who don’t know who Nehemiah was, he was a member of Jewish nation who had some favor with the Cyrus the Great, who was the ruler of Babylon that agreed to let the Jewish nation return from their captivity to Jerusalem. Nehemiah had worked it out with the Babylonians to receive supplies so that the walls around the city could be rebuilt to better protect Jerusalem from foreign attacks.
But Nehemiah’s plan what not greatly supported by all. There were some in the city who tried to stop them by force. It is said that the men helping to rebuild would be working with one hand and holding a sword in the other in case someone were to try to stop them!
How easy would it have been for God to strike these people down so that the work could continue? But that’s not what happened. God showed these people mercy, even when they were resisting the work that God’s people were doing. Nehemiah describes how God treated these people in Nehemiah 9:17.
“Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them.”
Not only in the Old Testament do we see God’s grace and mercy at work, but we see it clearly described in many places of the New Testament as well. We even have a commandment from Jesus to follow the example of God’s grace and mercy!
“I will be merciful to the unrighteous, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more”
“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — The Lord is very compassionate and merciful”
“Therefore, be merciful as your Father also is merciful”
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, our God is a God full of grace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. This grace and mercy is free and available to anyone who is willing to hear His word and do His will. I would encourage all of the readers here to search the Word of God, find what His will truly is, and follow this commandments that have been given. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him!
I thank you for reading today, as always. And as always, I invite anyone who has any thoughts or questions to reach out via the comments or direct message and let me know! If you enjoyed the post, I encourage you to share it so that other people may find it.