God is Merciful (Week Starting November 11, 2018)

Read this Scripture:  
Psalm 103:8 (ESV) - The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Read this Thought:
A dictionary will tell you that mercy is, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.”  It is very hard to read the Bible, the book that tells us all about God, and not see that God is full of mercy - that He is merciful.

Over and over and over again we read true stories of God showing compassion and forgiveness to those who really deserve punishment.  The people of Israel are a classic example of this… They complain and God provides for them. They make and idol of a cow to worship and He forgives them.  They reject God’s leadership and ask for a human king and He gives them one. They don’t follow His instructions and He still lets them live in the promised land (at least for a time).  

Now this is where this truth gets very interesting.  God’s mercy has to be held with His other attributes, especially His justice (which we talked about that last week).  If God was just merciful He would never punish anyone for doing anything wrong - no one would ever have justice.  God perfectly balances both His justice and His mercy.

So when the Israelites rejected God and His instructions He loved them and in His mercy gave them many opportunities to repent and return to loving Him.  Eventually, God in His justice had to punish the Israelites for all the bad things they were doing - we can read about how they were taken from their land in the books of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.  

In spite of all this, God still had a merciful rescue plan.  This plan didn’t just have the people returning to the promised land but a returning to relationship with God through Jesus.

Do this Activity:
Get a piece of paper and pen and work together on making an acrostic.  On the page write the letters for ‘mercy’ downward like this:

Then work together to create statements that describe God’s mercy.  Make sure to start each statement with the letter it is next to. (For example next to ‘M’ you could write - “Makes a way for us to have a relationship with Himself”).

Discuss this Question:
Why can we show mercy to someone who has wronged us?

November Scripture Memory:
John 17:3 - This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent —Jesus Christ.

Pray Together