The Psalmist wrote: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 107:1). David experienced many difficulties in his life from the time when he was a young shepherd boy tending his flock to when he became the second king of Israel. David suffered at times because of the evil that others had done and then there were times when he himself was the cause. David was able to see that in spite of the source of the trial that he experienced the Lord was always merciful toward him and as David wrote: “…His mercy endures forever.” The mercy of God can be seen from Genesis to Revelation in the lives of so many people. As Christians we need to reflect upon the mercy of God in our lives and as it has been revealed in the Word of God, and as we do be appreciative for it and motivated to live righteously before Him. How was God’s mercy expressed throughout the Bible as was recognized by David?
The mercy of God can be seen time and time again throughout the Old Testament. The first expression of God’s mercy is seen as he pronounced the consequences of the sins of Adam and Eve he also expressed his mercy toward them and all humanity as the sending of a Savior was prophesied (Genesis 3:15). The “seed”, Jesus, would come and be the Savior and he was the same “seed” referred to by Paul: “He does not say, ‘And to seeds’, as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your seed’, who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). God’s mercy can be seen in a spiritual context in the beginning (Genesis 3:15) and in the life of Abraham (Genesis 12:3). God’s mercy can be seen in a physical way upon humanity in the life of Noah. A few generations after the creation of the world human beings began to rampantly reject God and his will. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God was so hurt and sorrowful at the attitude and actions of humanity that he just wanted to destroy what he had created, but the record says; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). Noah and his family had continued to live faithfully unto God and because of that the Lord had mercy and extended his grace to Noah. God provided a way of salvation from the impending flood whereby Noah and his family were saved, as well as the animal life, reptiles, birds of the air also (Genesis 6:19-20), and all mankind was given the opportunity through the preaching of Noah to repent and return to God and be saved (1 Peter 3:19-20). Time and time again in the Old Testament God extended his mercy to his people and even to those that were not among the Israelites in order that they might repent and come back to him (Jonah, Nahum, Obadiah, etc.).
The mercy of God can be seen throughout the New Testament in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote the brethren in Corinth: “As we have received mercy, we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:1) and to the Ephesian brethren he wrote: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us…by grace you are saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:4,8). God extends his mercy through the gospel because as Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God’s mercy through Christ enables humanity to escape “the wages of sin”. Through faithfully obeying the will of God we can receive the mercy of God (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:27). After becoming a Christian the mercy is extended as we walk in the light (1 John 1:7-9).