Blessed Are the Merciful for They Shall Obtain Mercy
On my YouTube channel, I discuss many of the topics that Jesus discussed in the Sermon on the Mount. Here’s the YouTube video that corresponds to this message: Blessed Are The Merciful.
As we move forward in the Inaugural Address, let’s note the new way Jesus presents cause and effect. Until now, we’ve seen that the poor in spirit are given the kingdom of heaven, that those who mourn will be comforted and that the meek shall inherit the earth. Next, we examined what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and saw that those who do will be filled. As we come to the next segment of our Lord’s Address, there’s a difference. This time we’ll get back exactly what we give. This introduces God’s law of reciprocity.
(Matthew 5: 7)
If we want mercy, we must give it. If we want forgiveness, we must give that too. In modern terms, reciprocity is often used in a negative sense, as in, “What goes around, comes around.” Yet, in the Kingdom of God He wants us to understand both sides.
with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure;
and with the forward thou wilt shew thyself forward.”
(Psalms 18: 25-26)
The merciful will see God’s mercy, the upright will see He is upright and the pure will see His purity. But to the perverted, God will show Himself unacceptable. Grasping this law of reciprocity is crucial in obtaining mercy. I define mercy as a non-retaliating spirit that gives up all attempts at self-vindication, and does not return injury for injury, but rather good in the place of evil, and love in the place of hatred.
Mercy does not reciprocate negative for negative, but gives undeserved favor. Mercy feeds our hungry enemy and gives him a drink. Mercy blesses him when he curses, and loves when he hates. This is the same motivation as God’s great mercy to us when He sent His Son. It comes from a heart and disposition of love. His love also created us in His image, and is the same love that allows us to enter His kingdom.
Mercy is a fundamental disposition of God
Mercy is an unchangeable part of God’s nature. He is loving all the time. He is good all the time. His character never changes.
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).”
God is rich in mercy and will never run out. His mercy comes from His love for us. Even when we were His enemy, He loved us and sent His son to die for us. Even when we were full of sin and rebellion, God so loved the world. Love leads to mercy and mercy leads to forgiveness. What if instead we were given what we deserve? The soul that sins shall die. In other words, if God dealt with us according to our sins, we would die. His great mercy is unalterable.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”
Throughout time, people have refused to obey. They “hardened their necks,” and preferred to return to sinful bondage, rather than to submit to God’s loving authority. And what did God do?
and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey,
neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks,
and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage:
but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.”
God did not give up on them. He is rich in mercy and forgiveness, springing from His heart of love. We sing the wonderful hymn, Great is They Faithfulness,which speaks of His mercies, which are new every morning. Every morning, He is committed to mercy toward us. With love and compassion, He is faithful even when we are not.