Tender Mercies

I’ve often contemplated the mercy of God and it’s depth. David will seek for God’s forgiveness by invoking what he called God’s “tender mercies.” Psa 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

The psalmist wrote: Psa 25:6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. It was a plea for love instead of justice. Guilt lay bare before His eyes to which there is no excuse. Only through His tender mercies can we be reconciled.

I know that these words are difficult for the modern American mind. We do not think of ourselves in such pitiful terms. We tend to grant ourselves “good people” rather than undone. Yet, standing before the Holy Savior, the comparison is stark. The apostle compared our righteousness to dirty rags.

God determines our destiny. While we are commanded to obey Him, He alone is the judge of all mankind. When we stand before the Lord, He will welcome us according to His own counsel. Paul put it this way: God will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy. Romans 9:18 Thus, God sets the precedent!

Grace is getting what you did not deserve. Mercy is not getting what you did deserve. Mercy holds back judgment and condemnation. It stands in the way of penalty and offers a freedom not of our own making. There are so many applications to this wonderful word, but I wish to shine a little light on a prayer from a blind man who needed help from the Lord.

Blind Bartimaeus was a known beggar, sitting by the highway side. This means that life was held in the hands of benevolent souls who might throw a coin his way. But the day he heard that Jesus was passing by, Bartimaeus cried out the one word that caught the Lord’s attention.

Mark 10:47 “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.”

The processional stopped in its place. The clamoring crowd escorting Jesus out of the city paused to hear and see what Jesus might do for the blind man. They tried to quiet him, but he cried out the more, “Jesus, have mercy on me.”

A healing took place that day. A life was changed and the people stood in awe. Mercy was the cry. Mercy was the prayer. Perhaps you are in a desperate need; where questions are many and answers are few. There is the word that the Lord loves to hear. It feels to me like the door to His heart. It is the cry for His mercy; His tender mercy to cover our lives. So maybe, instead of a detailed list of all that we need, let us cry “Lord, have mercy on us.” It is the confidence in the Word that gives me hope: His Mercy endures forever!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole