Mercy. You know the term. It’s not what the little old lady exclaims when she sees something shocking. It is much more than that. It is pure, undeserved favor. It is one of God’s greatest attributes, and one that He delights in extending to us.
Daniel understood well the concept of mercy when he approached God on behalf of his sinful, wicked countrymen. As he prayed for deliverance, he prayed, “for we do not present our prayers before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.” (Daniel 9:18) Like Daniel, I realize that I come to God on the basis of two things. I come to him on the basis of my relationship with Him, the fact that He is my Father and I am His child, and I come to him because of mercy.
You see, God doesn’t owe me anything. The salvation that He gave me was a free and undeserved gift (there’s mercy again). If God never answered another of my prayers, I would be indebted to Him forever.
But He does answer my prayers, and that’s where mercy comes in. Like Daniel, I have no righteous deeds to my credit to use as a bargaining chip with God. Isaiah says that all my righteous deeds are as filthy rags before the Father’s purity. So why does He answer? The full answer to this question would take volumes, but the simple answer is, because He is merciful.
The psalmist understood the mercy of the Lord. He was so overwhelmed with God’s mercy that he repeated the phrase “His mercy endures forever” TWENTY-SIX times in Psalm 136. Will you join him and me today as we ponder the wonder of His mercy toward us, and “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever” (I Ch. 16:34)?

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