We are now looking at Romans, chapter 9. In my last post we saw that God chose Jacob before he was born. That was because God already knew the choices that Jacob would make.
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
The only conclusion we can make is that there’s no unrighteousness in God. Paul then quotes a passage from Exodus 33:19.
The words, compassion and mercy in Exodus, mean to bend and stoop in kindness to an inferior…and then…to hold them lovingly. This is used throughout the Old Testament.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him…
Mercy, however, has a different connotation in the New Testament. We need to understand this concept.
A thorough study of mercy in the New Testament will show that mercy is God’s reward for His obedient children. I did a detailed series of posts about mercy. To see this series, click here.
This verse in Romans tells us that much of God’s grace comes to us, not because of our will, desire, or actions. Instead, it’s by God who shows mercy. It’s all about mercy. So, we have to understand mercy, to understand God.
Our will doesn’t figure into the equation. That was true in the life of Christ.
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Jesus knew this truth. It’s not about our will, but God’s desire for us.
It’s the same for running.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24
You don’t get the prize just for running. All of the athletes run.
In our Christian walk, it’s all about the mercy of God. Contrary to popular thinking – mercy is not some random act that God does. It’s a part of God’s righteous law. Jesus tried to explain this to the Pharisees.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
God’s righteous law is based upon three things: The original Greek says that they are faith, judgment, and mercy. Faith is the basis – without it you can never please God. Judgment is God’s final decision – guilty or not guilty. But mercy is the reward for obeying God’s Word to you.
This is a part of the Christian walk that most believers don’t understand. So, I want to take a post or two in order to explain its importance
Question: What’s your view of God’s mercy?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi