November 13 – Attributes of God – Mercy

Read 2 Samuel 24:14

My parent’s driveway comes at a 90 degree to the road that they live on and on a slight downhill. When my brother, Wade, and I were coming home from basketball practice one evening, Wade braked to turn into the driveway but due to the snow that had fallen, our little Ford Focus entered into a drift. Wade gently turned the wheel and we slid directly into our parking spot. There was a solid 10 second pause where we stared at each other with mouths to the floor before I said “That was the coolest thing I have ever seen.”

It was perfection.

Naturally, we had to try the maneuver again.

However, I was much less successful. One of my biggest failures resulted in the entire car, I’m talking all four wheels, in mom and dad’s front yard. As you can guess, Dad wasn’t too thrilled of our activities and said that we would be in serious trouble if we kept it up.

I mean, he would only know if we weren’t successful, right?

Another night, the opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to be a hero.

As I hit the brake and turned, we went straight for the front yard. Life flashed before my eyes and I resorted to standing on the brake rather than trying to drift the car. Only the front left tire hit grass. I backed up and Wade and I checked the damage and even tried to dump snow on the tire marks to hide the evidence.

It’s as if nothing ever happened.

Dad, however, saw through our cover up and called us out on our disobedience at dinner that evening. Instead of dropping the punishment bomb, which he rightfully could have, he let us off with a plea to our common sense.

This time, we gave up our escapade for good.

What Dad showed Wade and I was mercy which could be defined as “compassion or forgiveness that is extended to someone where another has the power to punish them.” The same is true with forgiveness. God shows us grace, a gift that we don’t deserve, by withholding punishment that is rightfully ours.

Even though we have blatantly sinned against a holy God, He still sent His only Son to be nailed to a tree for us! It is because of Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection that we have the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven with Him!

That, my friends, is mercy. It is one of the attributes of God that I am most thankful for. It causes me to think about the mercy, or lack thereof, that I show to others. Do I follow after Christ’s example or do I mimic the servant in Matthew 18?

We must look no further than Jesus:

“The greatest example of mercy is shown by Jesus Christ, the Son of God paying our debt on the cross.  Jesus paid the debt for our sin.  The punishment He received was for all of my sin (past, present and future).  We do not need to look any further than the cross for the perfect example of mercy.”

Look to the cross, my friends! Exemplify Jesus!

Jake Lawson

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