Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Proverbs 20:28 commentary; got mercy?

28 ¶ Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

The preeminence of mercy is an important concept in the entire Bible.

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

The context of the verse in James is not the Gentile church age but it does show how important mercy is to God.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Again, this verse in Matthew is not in the context of the age in which we live but it does underscore the importance of mercy to our Lord. He tells the king that his throne, his authority, his power, is sustained by mercy. This is diametrically opposed to the beliefs of the oriental despots of that or any time. It is said that a Persian emperor marched his army out between the two halves of a young man he had ordered cut in half after the young man’s father had pleaded with him not to impress that young man into the army as he was the only child of the man who had not been killed already in the emperor’s service. Cruelty and oppression have always been at the heart of earthly rulers who were not wise from the Assyrian kings to our modern despots like Saddam Hussein.

But, what about you and me, in this age of the Christian church? God has had great mercy on mankind, in not completely destroying the race of people for our sin and rebellion and in providing a way out of an eternity of agony in the lake of unquenchable fire by virtue of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and our trusting in that and believing in, believing on, and trusting the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, the second part of the trinity, God the Son, the visible image of God the Father, to grant us eternal life.

Christ came to offer mercy to the unbelieving Jews and to demand that they be merciful.

Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

He underscores this to the Jews in the story of The Good Samaritan found in Luke, chapter 10, when the listener acknowledges that the true neighbor of the wounded man was a hated Samaritan and Jesus said;

Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Paul says that we were given this opportunity because the Jews rejected Christ so that through our mercy they might obtain mercy.

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Our example and our preaching to bring Christ to the Jewish people is an effort of which God approves. And when we show mercy, which is not giving someone the comeuppance they deserve in a bad sense, to those around us we are to do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:8b ……………..he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Again, God’s mercy is limitless and awesome. He bestowed His mercy on us when we were dead in our sins. We didn’t have to “get right” or straighten out our lives to obtain this mercy or meet someone’s standard of right and wrong. We were sinners when He saved us, lost and undone.

Ephesians 2:4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened (made alive) us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

God’s entire plan of the redemption of mankind is based on mercy.

Titus 3:5a Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…..

How merciful are you, Christian? God has granted you great mercy far beyond anything you should have expected and yet, how do you treat others? Do you show mercy or are you all about your “getbacks” and getting your “propers”? There is a parable about a man who obtained mercy from someone to whom he owed a great deal of money and yet he showed no mercy to someone who only owed him a small amount. I’m not quoting that parable because it is not for this age and the punishment the man received would not apply to a blood bought, born again Christian but it is found beginning in Matthew 18:23 if you want to review it.

Finally, mercy is essential for a Christian. God wants you to be merciful. Have mercy on your spouse, your children, your coworkers, your neighbors and everyone you come in contact with today. Be merciful as God is merciful. Because if He hadn’t had mercy on you, you’d be in Hell as we speak. Think about it.

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