God is Merciful and Gracious.6th March 2018
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” -Exodus 34:6-7 (ESV)
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.” -Isaiah 30:18-19 (ESV)
In a time where people did not rest in the value of God, but instead worshipped a Golden Cow, you’d think that God would have ended His patience with them. In addition to them not believing the Red Sea and the grumbling against God in the wilderness, you’d think that God might have destroyed them. However, it is not in God’s nature to do this and as He says to Moses in the scripture above in Exodus, He is a God who is merciful and gracious.
He is merciful and gracious because as we have learnt earlier, God is love. It is His character to love even if love is not returned to Him. Because of His goodness, He will give us good things and He extends his favour, mercy and kindness to whomever He pleases as that is who He is. Even though we may not acknowledge Him or worship Him, He will still provide us with good things because He wants to. God created mankind for good and He won’t turn His back on His creatures or creation.
We may sometimes ponder on why God waits to do things in our lives and Isaiah answers this in the scripture above which tells us that He does it so that He may be gracious to you. But what does it mean to be gracious? To be gracious means to show kindness and have compassion for others even when they do not deserve it. In the Old Testament, this is applicable to God as it is indicative of His favour, mercy, His long-suffering and general inclination of favour and kindness.
Think of a parent. A father and mother will give good things to their children because they want to nurture their children. They provide shelter, food, and clothing because they know that it is necessary for the well-being of their children. They also give them gifts out of love for their children. God does the same thing. He has provided everything for humanity in order for them to grow and prosper. He goes beyond just substance. He personalises each and every gift. He does this even though we don’t recognise or deserve it.
So, let us continually acknowledge and thank God for each and every day and for all that He has done in our lives. Despite our past wrongdoings know that He will always continue to love you and show you His merciful and gracious nature.
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” -Psalm 145:8-9 (ESV)