Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

Any right living we may have acquired needs to morph into mercy, not judgment. The reason the merciful are blessed is that they also will receive mercy. All of us will need mercy at throughout our life. If we do not sow it, we will not reap it. Even the lamenting prophet Jeremiah, known for his blistering pronouncements against Israel, wept for his people daily. He knew their only hope lay in the mercy of God.

Lam 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Hope is essential for our mental health. Recall good things you've forgotten. Negative events push positive thoughts out of mind. Make your mind think on good things. We easily forget the mercies of God. We do wrong and yet we are not consumed because God is compassionate. His mercies are new at the start of every day because our failings recur every day. We fall short of His glory every day. We are in need of fresh mercy every day.

Probably more than anything else, Jesus’ life was typified by his compassion, mercy, and grace. He was also pure, white as snow, yet this did not make Him judgmental. The reason the masses crowded Him was they felt safe from judgment. A major secret to the healing and the miracles that accompanied Him was His compassion for people. He had compassion on the multitude because they were weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. The river that flows from God is a river of love, mercy, grace, and compassion.

Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.

The story of Naomi in the book of Ruth is an amazing demonstration of someone who returned to the house of God and found mercy. This was a bad time in Israel’s history. When critical, judgmental people rule, there will be famine in the land. There was no clear leader and everybody did what was right in their own eyes. Elimelech takes his family away from the house of bread and praise for natural, not spiritual, reasons. They go to Moab, a people descended from Lot’s incest with his eldest daughter. Where men go, they take their family. He wasn’t prepared to pay the price of staying in the land, but searched for comfort rather than character. It was only 50 miles away, not far by anyone’s standards, yet far enough to be another land. Death claims Elimelech. He attempted to escape death in Israel, but it found him in Moab. Rather than return, the sons now settle into the land for the next ten years, marrying Orpah and Ruth, both forbidden as wives for Israelites. Not only do neither of the marriages produce children, but both sons of Naomi die. Naomi is childless and a widow, there is hardly a worse circumstance for anyone to bear. How much pain does it take to get us to return to the Lord, to return to the House of God, to do the right thing in any circumstance?

Finally, Naomi returns to Israel, because she hears the famine is over and that there is bread in the land. Naomi never foresaw the problems that being away from the House of God would cause. Ruth felt destiny in her connection with Naomi and was prepared to return with her. Once Naomi returned to the House of bread and praise, the mercy of God manifested in many ways in her life. She regained all she had lost by her daughter Ruth. The richest man in town, Boaz, married her, she then gave birth to Obed who gave birth to Jesse whose son was David. David’s great great great grandson was Jesus Christ. Ruth was a Moabite. Her background was wrong. How could she get into the game of bringing the Messiah into the world?

Through the mercy of God!

See you in church!

Phil PringleComment