We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
… to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant…
When you are talking about the character of God, you have to remember that God isn’t defined by a few attributes put together to make who He is. Rather it’s the attributes that are defined by God.
God isn’t just loving. God is love.
God isn’t just trustworthy. God is truth.
God isn’t just wise. God is wisdom itself.
This all comes from his name, “Yahweh” (indicated in this verse with LORD spelled in all caps). To explain it simply, it means, “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). This is all to say that God isn’t influenced by anything or anyone other than himself to define himself. This is also true of how He chooses to act towards us, like in Exodus 33:19 when he says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
To translate his name in whole, it would read like this, “He is who he is and he does what he does.” God isn’t a derivative, he’s the definition of everything that is. This means that God’s mercy is unmerited, undeserved, unconditional because we don’t define him.
When we behold Jesus we are reminded of the mercy of God. Whether we think we are far from God, He chose to come near to you. Whether we think we have earned God’s favor, it’s of no virtue of our own works but God’s grace.
Jesus defines God to us by revealing all of his goodness. Only by his mercy are we saved. It should humble the best of saints and bring hope to the worst of sinners. When we try to imagine God in our definition, we in turn fail to accurately define ourselves. It’s through God’s grace that will ultimately bring us true rescue.
Thank you God for your act of mercy in sending Jesus to save us. There is nothing that I can do to earn that kind of love. Teach me to walk in the unmerited mercy that you give us each day to find joy through any circumstance because you are with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Meditate on the concept of God’s mercy through the meaning of his name ‘I am who I am’. It should bring us to a deep dependence on Him.
- In what ways have you tried to earn God’s mercy?
- In what ways have you believed are out of reach of God’s grace?
- What hope do we have in the mercy of Jesus?
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