262 – MERCY
What is the definition of the word mercy? It is forgiveness, granted in pure kindness. It is a sublime virtue, which leads to compassion for another’s misery. The best definition is: Virtue that compels to forgive that which one has a right to punish. The apostle Paul, referring to God, expresses himself in the following way: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all our affliction” (2 Cor. 1:3).
Paul continues: “Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:4). We can draw a few conclusions from this verse:
- Tribulations do not come from God, but from another powerful one in this world.
- God the Father cannot avoid them.
- The only thing that he can do for us is to comfort us.
- We, Christians, are in the middle of hell, and the god of this world wants to massacre us by his armies (2 Cor. 4:4).
Why is God called the God of all mercies? This is because he wants to save all men and women, with no distinction of race, color, or social position. For this reason Paul declared: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28). Zaccheus was a tax gatherer and a thief, and he was saved (Luke 19:1-10). Worse than Zaccheus was one of the thieves crucified with Christ, whom tradition calls Dimas. This one confessed his faults on the cross, believed in Jesus, and was saved (Luke 23:39-43). The enemies of God were reconciled to him in order to be saved by believing in Jesus (Rom. 5:8-10). Any man or woman, independently of the crime or sin they committed, if they believed and confessed Christ, were saved and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Paul informs us that many idolaters and adulterers, effeminate and sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards and revilers were saved and regenerated (1 Cor. 6:10-11). This is why God, the Father of Jesus, is called the Father of mercies (2 Cor. 1:3).
Let us see if Jehovah, who revealed himself as god, has the same profile of the Father. He declares himself to be merciful and pious. “Then Jehovah passed by in front of him and proclaimed. ‘Jehovah, Jehovah God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin” (Ex. 34:6-7). And Jehovah affirms that he keeps the covenant and mercy for 1,000 generations of those who love him and keep his commandments, because he is faithful (Deut. 7:9).
- Adam and Eve, in paradise, were forbidden to eat of the tree of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-3). Careless, and abandoned by Jehovah in the grip of the evil serpent, were tempted, ate of the forbidden fruit, and sinned. Their condemnation was just, but Jehovah did not show mercy towards his offspring. All humanity suffers the terrible effects of the fatal judgment until today (Rom. 5:12).
- In the year of 1656 after Adam, the population of the earth should have consisted of billions of people, for a man could have many women, and lived from 500 to 1,000 years. As corruption was very great, but not as great as it is today, Jehovah destroyed all of humanity by the waters of the Flood. There were billions of innocent children, but Jehovah did not show mercy to any of them (Gen. 6:1-15).
- The children of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu took the firepans and put strange fire in them, different from what Jehovah had commanded them. Then fire came out from Jehovah and killed them. But they did not want to offend him. They thought they were pleasing him with a good idea, but Jehovah did not show mercy towards the sons of Aaron, the high priest (Lev. 10:1-2). Now, Aaron was within the covenant of Jehovah, according to Deut. 7:9.
- Achan sinned, taking the spoil, a Babylonian mantle, and 200 shekels of gold (Josh. 7:20-21).Under the command of Jehovah, the sons, the daughters, his wives, his oxen, and all he had were taken to the valley of Achor. They were stoned and burned. Jehovah did not have mercy of the innocent children (Josh. 7:24-26).
- The arch of the concert of Jehovah was in the house of Abinadab for 20 years. David decided to take the arch to Jerusalem. He set the arch on a new cart. Uzzah and Ahio, children of Abinadab led the cart. As they went, the car tipped, and Uzzah reached to the arc, so that it would not fall. The wrath of Jehovah was kindled against Uzzah, and he killed him right there. What was the sin of Uzzah? Zeal? Care? Was this Abinadab’s pay for keeping the ark for 20 years? Jehovah was not merciful towards Uzzah and his faithful and kind father Abinadab (2 Sam. 6:1-7).
- Moses was the greatest prophet of the Old Testament (Deut. 34:10). Jehovah testified of Moses when Aaron and Myriam, his siblings, rose up against him, saying, “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman. They said, ‘Has Jehovah indeed spoken only with Moses? Hasn’t he spoken also with us?’ And Jehovah heard it. Now the man Moses was very humble, above all the men who were on the surface of the earth. Jehovah spoke suddenly to Moses, to Aaron, and to Miriam, ‘You three come out to the Tent of Meeting!’ The three of them came out. Jehovah came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the Tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. He said, ‘Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house. With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see Jehovah ‘s form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?’ The anger of Jehovah was kindled against them; and he departed. The cloud departed from over the Tent; and behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. Aaron looked at Miriam, and behold, she was leprous” (Num. 12:1-10). For this giant of faith and humbleness committed one only mistake in forty years of incomparable dedication. He struck the rock twice, when he should strike it just once (Num. 20:7-13). As punishment, Jehovah forbade him to enter the Promised Land (Deut. 1:37). Jehovah did not have mercy on Moses, his faithful servant. And Jehovah, so as to make Moses suffer even more, took him to Mount Nebo, opposite Jericho, and showed him all the land of Canaan, saying, “‘I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.’ So Moses the servant of Jehovah died there” (surely of disgust and disillusion) (Deut. 34:1-5). The worst of it all was that Jehovah buried Moses, and gave his body to Satan (Deut. 34:5-7; Jude 9). Jehovah did not show mercy on the greatest men of the Old Testament.
- The great king David, the man with whom Jehovah made an everlasting covenant: “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David, my servant, I have found David, my servant. I have anointed him with my holy oil, but my faithfulness and my loving kindness will be with him. In my name, his horn will be exalted. I will also make his seed endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. I will not break my covenant, nor alter what my lips have uttered. Once have I sworn by my holiness, I will not lie to David. His seed will endure forever, his throne like the sun before me. It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah.” (Ps. 89:3-37). David, as man a sinner, and liable to fall, committed adultery and homicide (2 Sam. 11:1-17). Jehovah did not show mercy towards David, as we can read in the same Psalm 89: “But you have rejected and spurned. You have been angry with your anointed. You have renounced the covenant of your servant. You have defiled his crown in the dust. You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries. You have made all of his enemies rejoice. Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword, and haven’t supported him in battle. You have ended his splendor, and thrown his throne down to the ground” (Ps. 89:38-44). Poor David! Jehovah was not merciful with the newborn baby of Bathsheba, even though David had prayed and cried for seven days. Jehovah killed him (2 Sam. 12:14-20). And Jehovah was not merciful with the ten concubines of David, as he handed them to Absalom, his son. Read it in 2 Sam. 12:11-12 and 16:21-22. Jehovah was not merciful with Tamar, daughter of David, who was abused by David’s firstborn, Amnon (2 Sam. 13:1-20). Jehovah took vengeance on the most beloved and intimate people of the sinner’s relations, all of them innocent.
- Jehovah declares that he does not have pity or compassion of the ones who are guilty. “I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says Jehovah: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them” (Jer. 13:14). “My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will bring on you according to your ways; and your abominations shall be in the midst of you; and you shall know that I, Jehovah, do strike” (Ezek. 7:9). He was referring to his people Israel. A constant in Jehovah’s language was to be unmerciful (Ezek. 5:8-11; 8:18). Whoever does not have pity on little children does not know mercy(Is. 14:21; Lam. 4:10).
Jehovah’s profile is not the same as the Father of Jesus’, or Jesus’ profile, for Jesus does not condemn anyone (John 3:17; 5:45; 12:47; 1 Tim. 4:10; etc.).
by Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira