Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth forever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth forever. Ps. 118:3-4.
When we think of God’s mercy, we usually think it terms of what we would define as His goodness towards us – that he is patient and longsuffering with our sin, and this is so true, but I am awed to think of God’s goodness that loosens the grip on our sin nature and allows us to trip and fall so that we have but a glimpse into the depth of our own sin nature. It is His great goodness and mercy that tramples our ever present pride and allows us to be but for a moment humbled and for a brief moment appalled at who we are apart from Him.
And then I am again awed at how his mercy holds back the tide of our sin nature and that it is His goodness and mercy that stays our hand. However, the root of our sinful heart is so deep that we rarely see ourselves as being held and stayed by God’s mercy. Apart from His mercy we cannot begin to comprehend who we are, so we go on believing that through our own works we can be good – never seeing that God is sovereign in all our works and we do nothing good – nothing.
We can never even start to comprehend the depth of the evil within us were it not for His mercies towards us. It is His mercy that allows our mistakes to sanctify; His mercy that allows our mistakes to wound our hearts; His mercy that stays our hand before we fall to far; His mercy that keeps our lives in perfect balance. God’s mercies are towards us both in our sin and in the limits of our sin, so that we are nothing without his mercy. He is merciful to allow mistakes and merciful to stop them.
Oh, how my heart praises Him for His mercy that allows us to live with our own sin so that we would be so drawn to Him. As a child whose vocabulary and understanding is limited, I cannot express the depth of my gratefulness, so as the writers of Lamentations and Psalms expressed – His mercies endure forever; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness, O God.