God’s merciful care for us eventually brings us to New Jerusalem. On one hand, mercy comes from Him. On the other hand, we should ask for mercy.
Romans 9:15-16 say, “For to Moses He says, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” How much we must thank God that He is willing to have mercy and compassion on us.
Although mercy does not depend on our efforts, we should ask God to be merciful to us. We should not passively wait for mercy. Some examples:
• In Matthew 15:22 a Canaanite woman cried out for mercy;
• In Matthew 17:15 a man asked for mercy to his son;
• In Matthew 20:30-31 two blind men cried out, Have mercy on us; they continued to cry out even when the crowd tried to silence them.
In every one of these cases the Lord responded positively to the request for mercy.
In Mark 5:6 a demon-possessed man saw Jesus at a distance, ran to Him, and worshipped Him. Jesus cast out the legion of demons and the man was healed. He wanted to go with Jesus, but was told (v. 19), “Go to your house, to your own people, and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.”
In this case we see that the Lord’s mercy to us is part of the good news we can declare. While declaring this good news, we should remember that the mercy which saves us out of a pitiful situation is so that God can bring us into glory, into New Jerusalem.
Here is a song about God’s mercy sung in English; the text of Romans 9:15 appears in Korean at the end.
Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.
Here is more about the apparent, but not actual, conflict between God determining who receives mercy and our crying out for it.