Psalm 106:43-44 “Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:”
One of the sad statements in the Scriptures is that God delivered Israel many times, “but they provoked him.” Not only did God deliver Israel many times, but when their sin placed them into captivity, He still allowed them to be pitied by their captors. In other words, God was always merciful towards the children of Israel despite their treatment of Him. God was more ready to forgive them no matter how bad their sin was towards Him.
There are many believers who need to learn to let the mercy of God rule in their lives. We live in times when God’s mercy ruling in our lives is a rare attribute. Instead of being merciful like God towards those who have fallen, many choose to be merciless and try to destroy the fallen like Satan. We often talk about revival, and we certainly need it, but one of the greatest areas where we need revival is in the area of being merciful. Let me give you a few thoughts about God’s mercy among believers.
First, God is merciful despite the wickedness of the believer’s sin. It did not matter what Israel did to God; He still found in himself the ability to be merciful to the sinner. Not only has God been merciful to Israel, but He has been merciful to you despite the wickedness you have done. I know there are some who read this and think that they haven’t done wickedly, but may I ask you which sin is not wicked? All sin is wicked, including pride and pharisaism, and yet God is still merciful to us. If God can be merciful to us despite the wickedness of our sin, then we have within ourselves the ability to be merciful to others despite the wickedness of their sin because we have the Holy Ghost of God dwelling within us.
Second, God is merciful despite the hardness of the believer. Israel had hardened their neck many times towards God, yet God was merciful to them, even in their captivity. Don't let the hardness of someone cause you to stop being merciful. Even if they are facing God’s chastening hand, we must be merciful to them for the sake of God changing their heart.
Third, God is merciful despite the thanklessness of the believer. Many times, Israel went back into sin after God delivered them, but God still was merciful to them no matter how many times they turned their back on God. It is certainly hard to be merciful to the hateful when you have tried to help them many times, but never stop being merciful towards them no matter how frustrating they may be because you never know when they will come to themselves and get right with God.
Fourth, God is merciful because He desires to see a changed life more than chastening a life. Here is the key to being merciful; you desire to see people change more than you desire to see God chasten them. You would be as merciful to the sinner and backslidden as God is if you desired as much as God does to see them come back to God. The only reason the sinner or backslidden has so many distasteful attributes is because sin has broken them. You may see the backslidden and sinner remove the sin that is breaking them if you will be merciful towards them and pray for them.