“And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.”
In the present Christian environment in which we live, many embrace mercy or grace to the degree that there is no judgment and truth. Many have swallowed the Devil’s lie that the reason so many have walked away from Christianity is because of the harshness of the previous generation. Sadly, they think they are embracing mercy and grace when in reality they are embracing worldliness.
I was talking to an individual about their situation when they emphasized that they wanted to be merciful. Their definition of mercy was no judgment. They knew the situation they were talking to me about had happened, but they didn’t want to come across as merciless. It wasn’t until I showed them from the Scriptures what true mercy was that they were able to handle the situation properly.
Satan provoked David to number Israel, which was something God made clear should never be done. For whatever reason, David allowed this provocation to move him to number Israel, which thing displeased God. As a result of his disobedience, God gave David a choice of judgment. God said in verses 11-12, “…Choose thee either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel.” David made an astute observation about God’s mercy when he said, “…let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies…” David knew that God understood mercy, and he trusted His mercy over man’s injustice.
Christian, you cannot have mercy without judgment. You will notice in the verse above that mercy came after the judgment. Mercy can never be given without the judgment being applied. Mercy without judgment is a misnomer. Mercy can only be given after judgment has been set. To try to apply mercy without judgment is to condone the infraction. You cannot have mercy without judgment.
Moreover, judgment without mercy is unjust. Judgment dictates the punishment, but mercy dictates when it ends. Mercy is judgment’s finish line so that hope is never removed. If you remove hope from an individual, you never give them the chance to rebuild their lives. I’m certainly for judgment because that is what keeps others from crossing the line of sin, but I am also for mercy so that the individual who sinned has hope that they can be restored.
My friend, let me encourage you to understand the true nature of mercy. There must be judgment before mercy can be applied. The Devil would like for you to believe you must be merciful before judgment has ever been given, but this is not true. Judgment helps people understand that there are consequences for wrong actions. Judgment keeps others from thinking that they can get away with sin.
However, don’t forget to apply mercy. Don’t become the individual who never lets the judgment end. Every judgment must end at some point so that there can be restoration. You will never successfully restore the lives destroyed by sin without applying mercy and ending the judgment. Be a Christian who isn’t fooled by mercy’s misnomer.