“and mercy…” Psalm 23:6
I asked a leading question yesterday. It boils down to the ages-old query “how could a merciful God consign anyone to Hell?”
I think we have to understand that mercy is a word closely connected with covenant. A covenant in David’s day was a binding agreement between two parties. In the agreement both sides had responsibilities towards and privileges from the other party. Mercy is one of God’s covenant responsibilities:
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;” Deut. 7:9
“And he said, LORD God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:” I Kings 8:23
In David’s day God kept His covenant with those who obeyed the law and followed the sacrifice faithfully…. In other words, with those who chose to enter into covenant with Him.
Today God has made a new covenant offer to mankind. It’s called the New Testament. Mercy is still God’s responsibility. Our responsibility is to trust in the sacrifice of Jesus as Paul wrote in Romans, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Romans 10:9,10 NLT
God’s mercy you see is available to everyone. It is accessible to all. Still it must be received by faith. Further, Jesus must be confessed as Lord in order for mercy to be accessed. Sadly this is the jumping off point for many.
I once had a pastor say to me “Mr. Lillie you and I do not see eye to eye on many subjects and I will tell you right now if I have to accept Jesus in order to go to Heaven then I will be perfectly happy to go to Hell.”
You see a loving God does not consign anyone to Hell. Unloving humans separate themselves unto it.
How many do you know who are knowingly walking the path away from God’s mercy?