The reading for today is Psalm 123:3, ESV.
“Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.”
A Stroll down Mercy Lane
The entire chapter of Psalm 123 conjures up a vision for me of a group of Israelites standing, arms crossed, chins lifted, eyes toward heaven, toes on one foot tapping as if to say, “Alright God, we’ve had just about enough! Send your mercy so we can have relief right away!” The tone of their words just seems a bit presumptuous to me. Those Israelites! We’ve talked about them before! And yet, I’m called to wonder, is my expectation of forgiveness and mercy for a repeated sin any better? Surely not.
Another mind picture we might have when pondering the term “mercy” is that of one naked or scantily clad, crouched down low, with hands over face, body trembling, eyes peeking through fingers at a towering figure, ready to strike.
Praise be to Jesus that will never be us! He paid it all! Our great God understands the necessity for and the profound importance of mercy. After putting into place many laws He still understood the hearts of His people and He said in Hosea 6:6, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (NIV) In James 2:13, we learn that “. . .. mercy triumphs over judgement.” (NIV/ESV) Most importantly, God sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, affording us the most monumental mercy of all time.
Mercy . . . the release from the punishment that we deserve.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead, . . .” 1Pet 1: 3 (ESV)
So, it’s my thought that though we perhaps shouldn’t demand mercy, we can be confident that we can count on it to be there when we need it, and even before we know we need it. I will close with a line from a Bid Daddy Weave song that I think speaks volumes:
“God I run into your arms, unashamed because of mercy. I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You.”
Juli Hampton Ham10five@gmail.com
Prayer Concern: those who feel ashamed