Tag Archives: Mercy

How we see God (2 Samuel 22:26-27)

This past Sunday, I was preaching on the Sermon on the Mount, and in particular, Matthew 5:7-8. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (ESV) I wonder … Continue reading

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A channel of grace and mercy (2 Samuel 9)

As I read Mephibosheth’s words in this passage, “What is your servant that you take an interest in a dead dog like me?” (9:8) it reminded me of David’s words to God in chapter 7. Who am I, Lord God, … Continue reading

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Mercy and Grace (I Samuel 24)

As I look back on my older blogs, particularly on the Old Testament, I think I looked for a lot of practical, moral lessons. I think to some degree that is fine. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that these things … Continue reading

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Better to die? (Jonah 4)

What’s striking in this passage is Jonah’s attitude toward people headed for destruction in contrast to Jesus’. When God spared the Ninevites because of their repentance, Jonah was furious. He wanted them to perish. They were the enemies of the … Continue reading

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I John 2:1-2 — When we fall

We saw yesterday that though we are children of light and are called to live that way, we do fall at times. And when we do, if we confess our sins and repent, God will forgive us. (1:9) Here in … Continue reading

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Hebrews 4:11-5:10 — Why we can dare to draw near

How would you like to have your whole life exposed for all to see? Nothing hidden. Your life an open book for the world to see? Now think of standing before God on judgment day with that book open before … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 13:1-4 — When Jesus returns

In Paul’s warning to the Corinthians in this passage, I see a warning to us as well. Paul told them, I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 2:5-11 — When there is repentance

When someone hurts us it can be easy to hold a grudge.  And even if they are truly sorry and apologize, sometimes we withhold that forgiveness.  Or sometimes we forgive, but we let them know in no uncertain terms that … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 3)

In the last blog, we talked about how God basically tells people, “I have determined to judge you.  Now prove me wrong.  Prove that you’re not worthy of destruction.” And he waits patiently for their response. We see this kind … Continue reading

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Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-12 — Power and authority, mercy and grace

In this passage, there are three things I see in Jesus. 1.  His power and authority.  Though surrounded by his enemies, he was in total command of the situation.  Standing to face his enemies, he asked them, “Who are you … Continue reading

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Matthew 25:31-46 — How we treat others

Jesus finishes his dialogue on the end times with this last story.  And it talks about the final judgment following the tribulation.  At that time, God will judge the nations, separating the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from … Continue reading

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Matthew 20-29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43 — Looking beyond ourselves

As I read the story of Bartimaeus and his friend, what strikes me is the incredible compassion and love Jesus had for people. Here Jesus is, headed for the cross, and his closest friends, despite all he’s told him, still … Continue reading

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Luke 11:37-44 — What’s in the heart

In this passage, Jesus give a blistering criticism of the Pharisees.  And basically what it came down to was what was in their hearts. The Pharisees looked so good on the outside.  They were so careful to keep the law. … Continue reading

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Luke 10:25-37 — Going beyond the head knowledge

As I look at this passage, there is one more thing that strikes me. This is a story about three people that knew God’s word very well.  One, of course, was real (the expert in the law), and two were … Continue reading

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Luke 10:25-37 — To love in deed and truth

As I read this passage, the words of John spring to mind when he said, Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  (I John 3:18) We see this in the “Good Samaritan.” … Continue reading

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John 7:10; Luke 9:51-56 — A time for judgment, a time for mercy

I mentioned in the last blog that there will be people that hate us because of the truth that we represent. I also said it’s important how consider how we say it, and the spirit with which we talk to … Continue reading

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Matthew 18:21-35; Mark 9:49-50 — Seasoned with mercy, seasoned with fire

It’s been interesting putting all the accounts of this one discourse into one place.  But let us go back once more to the start of it:  an argument between the disciples about who was the greatest.  And probably during the … Continue reading

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Luke 7:36-50 — Where’s your love?

As I look at this passage, I suppose the question I ask myself is, “How much do I really love Jesus?” We see in this passage two people.  One was a woman who lived a sinful life.  What she did, … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:36-38 — When we judge others

It is so easy to judge others for their shortcomings.  To rail on them for their character or their deeds.  It’s especially easy to do so when they’ve hurt us. I think it’s very interesting that in the Lucan account, … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:29-30 — But it’s not fair

There is something in all of us, I think, that screams for fairness.  And if something happens that we feel isn’t fair, we scream against it.  But is that the best response? These few verses go against every instinct we … Continue reading

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Matthew 5:7 — Mercy

I remember having a dream one night about being at some kind of ministry training seminar or something in China of all places (I’ve never been there), and during it, our teacher told us, “You all know your Bibles well, … Continue reading

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Matthew 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17; Luke 5:29-32 — Mercy-givers

Here we see a big difference between Jesus and the religious leaders of the day.  A heart of mercy. Matthew was so excited to be called by Jesus, that he immediately invited Jesus to a great banquet with him and … Continue reading

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Luke 1:39-56 — Blessed

When Mary heard that her relative Elizabeth was pregnant, she quickly hurried down to see her.  This is quite understandable considering Mary’s own unusual circumstances.  She probably wanted to confirm that this wasn’t just some kind of delusion or dream. … Continue reading

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Psalm 142 — Pouring out our hearts before God

I’ve already written one post concerning Psalm 142, but it was in combination with another psalm, so I decided to give it its own post. Here we see David in one the caves he spent his time hiding in during … Continue reading

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Psalm 140 — Deliver me from evil

And so we come down to the homestretch for the book of Psalms.  It’s taken about 4 months to get this far, and we have just under two more weeks to complete it. Anyway, as I look at this psalm, … Continue reading

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Psalm 136 — Remembering the goodness and love of God

The first verse pretty much sums up the whole psalm. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. “His love endures forever.” This whole psalm is about God’s goodness and love toward his people.  But as we look at … Continue reading

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Psalm 130 — A God of forgiveness and mercy

This is a very short, but sweet psalm which reflects on the forgiveness and mercy of God in a time of distress. The date of this psalm is not known, but it has the feel of someone writing after the … Continue reading

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Psalm 123 — A cry for mercy

This is a very interesting psalm in the imagery it gives.  The psalmist writes, I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.  As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, … Continue reading

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Psalm 109 — Bitterness and forgiveness, mercy and justice

This is another of the imprecatory psalms, where we see the psalmist calling for the judgment of God on those who have wronged him. A lot of people, including myself, get disturbed reading these kinds of psalms, because it seems … Continue reading

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Psalm 102 — The God who never changes

I love how this psalm ends. In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  Like … Continue reading

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Psalm 99 — The God who is holy

So often, when we think of God and his character, the first word that comes to mind is “love.” And it is true.  God is love.  But here we see another aspect of his character.  His holiness.  And so while … Continue reading

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Psalm 85 — Repentance and mercy

It’s not certain when this psalm was written.  Charles Spurgeon seems to have thought it was written by David, but I tend to agree with the scholars who say it was written after the Babylonian captivity. The psalmist writes, You, Lord, … Continue reading

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Psalm 79-80 — The consequences of sin

These two psalms seemed linked, so I’m putting them together.  Both apparently happened after the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, and are very similar in tone to Lamentations. Psalm 79 opens with this lament: O God, the nations have invaded your … Continue reading

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Psalm 75 — When justice finally comes

Whenever I look at this psalm, I can’t help but sing to myself the old chorus based on this psalm. We give thanks to thee O Lord, we give thanks. For thy name is near, Thy wondrous works men declare. … Continue reading

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Psalm 68 — A God of power…and mercy

As I read this psalm two things strike me.  First, God’s power. It starts out with a prayer showing God’s power to cast down the enemy. May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. … Continue reading

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Psalm 41 — Being merciful

We now come to the end of the first book of psalms (there are five all together). And David starts it by writing, Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.  … Continue reading

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Psalm 25 – Crying out for God

I often wish that we had a little more insight as to the background of the songs that David wrote.  Some of the psalms have the background written in the title.  This one, unfortunately, does not. But what strikes me … Continue reading

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Job 25-27 — Incomplete and distorted

We finally come to the last of the speeches by Job’s friends.  Essentially, Bildad totally ignores all that Job said, and just says, “God’s great.  God’s pure.  But you.  You’re just a dirty worm.  Dirty.  Impure.  A mere maggot in … Continue reading

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Zechariah 12 — That we may see

In this passage, we see a glimpse of Israel’s future.  Sometimes people think that God has abandoned Israel, and that God’s promises to them have all been transferred to the church.  But that’s not true.  As Paul said concerning Israel, … Continue reading

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Zechariah 7 — False piety

Many people criticize Christians for hypocrisy, warranted or not.  But to God, it is a serious issue. In this passage, we see the returnees who had been exiled to Babylon coming before Zechariah and asking if they should continue fasting … Continue reading

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Daniel 9:1-19 — When your life has been shattered by sin

Shortly after Babylon fell to the Persians, Daniel remembered the words of Jeremiah saying that the exile of the Israelites would last 70 years.  With the 70 years up, it caused Daniel to hit his knees.  The interesting thing to … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 25-29 — A heart of malice

We now shift the scene back to Babylon.  The prophesies here, for the most part, happened during the time of Jerusalem’s siege and fall. In these passages, Ezekiel prophesies against some of the enemies around Judah, the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 20 — God of judgment and mercy

I’ve mentioned this before, but going through the prophets can be somewhat wearying at times, the reason being that much of their messages seem to be the same, namely messages of judgment. The same can be said here.  Here the … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 18:25-29 — A warped sense of justice

“God’s not fair.” It is a little ironic that people sometimes say this.  Why?  Basically because God’s way of thinking is perfect and holy, and ours has been corrupted by sin. Yet we dare, with our corrupted judgment, to disagree … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 17:22-24 — The tender one

So many times we get the image of God, especially the “God of the Old Testament” as a hard-liner.  Someone who is ready to blast us for every sin that we commit. But here, God talks of a “tender one” … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 48-49; Obadiah — Reasons for judgment

I know.  At first glance, it seems a bit strange to combine Jeremiah and Obadiah.  But there is some method to my madness.  If you look at Obadiah, it actually has a lot in common with Jeremiah 49:7-22.  A lot … Continue reading

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Micah 6 — Empty religion

“I call to the stand the people of Israel.” That’s basically the opening of Micah 6, where God calls the Israelites to account in a court-like atmosphere. He cross-examines them, saying, My people what have I done to you?  How … Continue reading

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Isaiah 15-16 — Compassion for our brothers

Hatred can be worst when it’s between brothers or close relatives.  Probably because our expectations are much higher for people who are supposed to be our kin. In the same way, the Moabites should have had a much better relationship … Continue reading

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Amos 7-9 — When there’s no turning back

I suppose the tough thing about going through these prophets is that for many of them, especially during this time in the books of Kings and Chronicles, they seem to be beating the same drum, namely that of judgment. I … Continue reading

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Jonah 3-4 — The God who delights in mercy

One wonders at the attitude of Jonah as he preached to the Ninevites. Sometimes we see people holding up signs at gay rallies or parades and shouting “You’re going to hell!” I wonder if that was the kind of attitude … Continue reading

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