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Mercy and Truth

Updated on October 20, 2017

God's Mercy

Mercy and Truth Bible Verse
Mercy and Truth Bible Verse | Source

God's mercy is beyond anything that we can imagine

At the heart of the matter

The Pharisees had asked the disciples, "why does your master eat with publicans and sinners?" And Jesus heard this and said: " Go and learn what this means. I desire mercy and not sacrifice." Matthew 9:13.

He continued by saying, "I have come for sinners and not the righteous."

The Pharisees had demonstrated that they had little mercy. Even the very question that they asked, "why is he eating with publicans and sinners?" Showed that their own righteousness was greater than mercy in their eyes.

When Jesus spoke again and said to the Pharisees, "I have come for sinners and not the righteous," He was not calling them righteous. He spoke words that were glaringly true. There He was, the Messiah, the one that even Moses prophesied about, and they were asking why He was eating with sinners? The very question revealed the state of their hearts. They didn't eat with sinners, they were self-righteous. The certainly didn't see that they had need of a savoir.

So, the question remains unspoken but clearly seen between the lines. If a person believes that he or she is righteous, that person would never see the need of a Savoir. How could God work with those who were not even true to their own hearts? However, sinners? They know that they have fallen short, they know that they need the power that only comes from God to overcome their sins, and they know that only Jesus can cleanse them of all unrighteousness.

Parable of the two men who went into the temple to pray

There's a parable that Jesus told about two men who went into the temple to pray, one of the two was a man was a Pharisee, the other a Publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Luke 18:11-12

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. Luke 18:13

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:14

Jesus said that the Publican "went to his house justified, rather than the other..." He even took it further by showing that a self-righteous man is exalted in his own heart. The other man was very humble and honest, not only with God but also with himself.

If we can't be honest with ourselves, how can we be honest with God?

Being honest with ourselves

Nothing is hidden

Consider the day that God asked Cain, "Where is your brother," after Cain slew Able. Rather than answer God truthfully, Cain responded with, "Am I my brothers keeper?"

God already knew that Cain had killed Able. Nothing is hidden from God. Cain never showed remorse for murdering his brother and rather than confess his sin and ask God for forgiveness Cain used sarcasm to answer.

Even after judgement came, Cain was only concerned about his punishment, and still showed no remorse for killing his brother. There is not one example within the scriptures where Cain repented.

Nothing is hidden

We as people have this natural tendency to think that since others can't hear our thoughts our thoughts are completely hidden. While it's true that other people can not read our minds, our thoughts are not hidden from God ever.

Natural man

Paul spoke about those in Christ having their minds renewed, and not being conformed to the ways of this world. As believers in Christ, as we mature in Him the old man is done away with, and we are made new. This is why the Apostle Paul reminded the Corinth's: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

God tests us as we mature and grow. He tests whether or not we will respond to trials and temptations as the world does, or if we will respond by the spirit of Christ in us and by His instruction to us.

As we mature and grow there should be changes in us. Even changes that we ourselves can recognize.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Those who come to the light

Light
Light | Source

God shines light into darkness

Those who come to the light

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:20-21

God knows us through and through, and it is His desire that no man should perish. We may not see ourselves as being "forgivable." But God's mercy is far greater than anything that we can do or say.

He wants us to know that He can see our hearts, and He already knows the effects that the world has had on each of us. He is always sending out the call, "come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden; and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." Matthew 11:29

A heart matter

God had sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint the man who would be king of all Israel following the removal of king Saul. Samuel was looking at the stature and the attractiveness of each of Jesse's sons, because the natural man associates appearances with how good, strong or capable a person may be. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

God sees our hearts. He is simply waiting for us to be honest with Him so that we can be molded into the image that He originally created us to be. When we come to Him, and confess our sins He is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

That's how great His mercy is.

Many times we learn the greatest lessons through our failures. God knows this, He knows that we are fallible. He can take our failures and our shortcomings and make them into something that will glorify Him. The changes that He brings into a persons life who sets his or her heart on taking up the cross and following Jesus, are promised to each and every one of us. God can take us from this natural and fallen state, and turn us into His very own children who stand firm on His word and seek His guidance in everything.

Believers can fall short

Even as believers we can fall short. Consider that Peter denied knowing Jesus three times when Jesus was arrested and taken for trail. Later Peter wouldn't sit with the Gentiles and even Paul pointed out his shortcoming. This did not change God's love for Peter, or the hope that God has for all who believe and seek Him with all their hearts, minds, and strength. Rather, Peter learned through both of these examples, just as we learn in our short comings.

When we fall short, God does correct us and with His correction comes truth that we, at that point on can walk in.

"Thus, mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other."

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalms 25:10

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Psalms 57:10

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalms 86:15

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    • pattyfloren profile image

      Patty Florence 2 weeks ago from Illinois

      Your welcome!

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 3 weeks ago from Florida

      Hi Patty Florence, thank you for reading and for your lovely comment.

    • pattyfloren profile image

      Patty Florence 3 weeks ago from Illinois

      Thank you for this article. I have learned the meaning of mercy and truth, peace and righteousness.

    • Annkf profile image
      Author

      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      You are still relating your ideals to God's ways. We can't make assumptions that simply because we see something a certain way, that God sees it the same way that we do.

      We also can't assume to know the thoughts of God when it comes to any matter.

      We're limited, we can only see what meets the eye. God can see every detail of every situation. There's nothing at all hidden from Him.

      You are tying your idea of what "love," is and love itself is not even easily defined. We can break it down, but our individual ideas that tie to the meaning, still can't be completely grasped or expressed.

      God is not limited like we are.

      You twist things, as though I said to "kill people." I told you how God's word goes from a natural principle to a spiritual one.

      The reality is, there is such a thing as spiritual death.

      Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

      Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

      Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

      Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

      I can't teach you to worship God in spirit and in truth, you have to seek Him through prayer and study of His word.

      If you can't grasp the changes that occurred upon the death and resurrection of Jesus, you will most definitely have to take it up with Him.

      While you're add it, maybe you can tell Him how "wrong He His word is that He preserved, and directed the prophets of old to write."

      Although He already knows your stance and your rejection of His truth.

      When a person can't come up with something factual, they usually go in the direction of being insulting.

      Unless you can be a grown up, and speak like one, we're done talking.

      If you ever want a serious conversation about the truth of God's word, I'll gladly talk with you.

      As I've said since I began talking with you, God's word will always be right, correct and true. I have no interest in your own idealistic, made up ideas.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 4 weeks ago from Houston, TX USA

      Thank you for your extensive response. Let us summarize from one of your points.

      Q. "If a people were so corrupt that they would drag everyone around them into hell with them, was it merciful to have them slain rather than to lose the entire multitude of people to hell?"

      A. Love one another. Love your enemy. Do not harm yourself or another person.

      Kill people to save people? No, that is Not OK. Present your believes to a mental health expert of your choice and let us know what they say.

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      Each of those passages have much deeper meanings, there's a whole lot to consider before anyone can write these things off.

      I have a lot of discussions with Atheists about these things, and one thing that they always do is go to the same passages as you just did. Every single time.

      I don't think they've actually looked into these things, I know they haven't sought out the truth or attempted to reason through these things with God.

      With the very passages that you used, one would have to study the scriptures prayerfully from beginning to end to get the gist of it all. I'm not going to relay this as clearly as I can within my limits, as I personally believe that the truth is there, for all who are in Christ Jesus to discover for themselves.

      I'm going to cover as many passages that you referenced as I can with a limited amount allowed for a response. I don't need a website link to do this. I've read it many times myself, and have discussed these things many times with others.

      One point at a time.

      Now you have to follow the account in context, or the passages will never make sense. I already am fairly certain that you won't actually consider what I'm about to write, but perhaps someone else reading it will. The truth is far more important than debate, so with that, here goes...

      1. EX 32:27-29 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.

      The passage that you referenced first, (or to be more precise, the website that you used referenced,) took place immediately after the Hebrew people utterly and completely disobeyed God.

      Before this happened, God instructed Moses to "sanctify," the people, and prepare them because God, Himself was going to be in their presence. There's a real fear of God when we who are unholy, are in the presence of God who is completely Holy. I can give a hundred examples of this being true within the scriptures, but for the sake of saving time, I'll give one example that anyone reading this can consider.

      When Paul was met by Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was terrified. Not only did he see Jesus, He heard the Savior speaking to him, and he fell blind.

      Now for one moment, Imagine you are Paul on that road, and God confronts you. Think about all of the elements involved with this amazing meeting, and then tell me that there is no fear of God. Now imagine seeing Jesus raise the dead right before your eyes. Think about it seriously, and then tell me that there is no fear in the presence of the true and living mighty God. Even better yet, go and read every single example of people who were confronted by God within the scriptures, and listen to their words, then tell me that there is no fear of God.

      Back to the first passage.

      God's presence filled the camp around mount Sinai. The people were very afraid when they were faced with being in the presence of God, who is altogether HOLY, and Moses had to speak to them to calm them. Here's how great their REAL fear was, and here is how Moses answered them.

      Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

      Exodus 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

      They were so fearful that they thought they might die if God spoke to them.

      Exodus 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

      You see, sin is a terrible thing. God's word defines exactly what it is, and not one ounce of the sinful human nature will enter into God's Kingdom. If you don't think that's the truth, consider this, If sinful nature of humankind that we see in this world today, (you know, all the things that harm others,) if those things were allowed into God's Kingdom, it wouldn't be heaven at all. It would be this earth...which is actually closer to what hell is, not quiet, but it's a good indicator. Hell is far worse.

      Since hell is REAL, and people will actually make the choice to go there by rejecting the true and living, altogether GOOD God in heaven, even though God has give each person the freewill to make that choice.

      When God's presence filled the camp, and the people knew beyond question what the FEAR of the Lord is, they made a covenant with God.

      How quickly they forgot, but it's no surprise, we're all the same. We all have this same sort of "short term memory," no matter how much we deny it...it makes no difference. The Hebrew people who were in the presence of God that day, knew this fact.

      Moses goes up onto the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. God wrote the ten commandments on stone. God wrote them...

      Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

      Read that verse very carefully, "written with the finger of God." It's important in understanding all the verses you listed.

      Before Moses even made it back down the mountain, the people had forgotten their own covenant, and they made an idol of gold and were dancing around it as they worshiped it naked.

      Seeing that sin will by no means enter into heaven, do you think that it was unkindness towards those who were put to death for leading the entire camp into Idol worship? For leading them into rejecting the true and living God, and forfeiting their right to enter into God's Kingdom?

      I suppose if you look at it through natural reasoning, you'll come up with all kinds of excuses. But then you'll have to condone all the wrongs being done on this earth at this very moment, to deny that God is good and has a purpose that is far beyond what you or I can see or even begin to grasp.

      Why? Because all things work together for the good of those who love HIM who are called according to HIS purpose. (Rom 8:28)

      If a people were so corrupt that they would drag everyone around them into hell with them, was it merciful to have them slain rather than to lose the entire multitude of people to hell?

      I know you don't believe in hell. Sadly, just because one doesn't believe that something isn't real, doesn't make it so...

      Each argument that you are using has a much deeper meaning and purpose that can only be grasped through prayerful study. You copied verses and information from a website, just the same as non-believers do, without any real understanding of any of this for yourself. You are using natural reasoning. There's a reason why in Christ we go from natural to spiritual.

      1 Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

      Read this article, based entirely on scriptures about what that means.

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Carnal-Mi...

      The very last passage you borrowed from a website to prove the point of someone else, where you agree in accusing God of "condoning human sacrifice, " is a direct accusation against God himself. That's one court I personally wouldn't want to be the defendant in. Unreal..

      Many of the passages that you use involving "slavery," are natural examples of spiritual principles, unless a person is spiritually minded, he or she will never grasp it. Not even slightly.

      John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

      1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      I'll sum all of the passages from that "website," up, by saying that before the birth of Jesus Christ, into this world...ALL THINGS WERE NATURAL.

      With His birth, a change took place and now for those who are in Christ, all things are spiritual.

      Even the natural things recorded in the scriptures have spiritual implications.

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      The responses only allow for 8192 characters, and to respond to each example that you borrowed from a webpage, and pasted into your response, will take far more than the number of characters allowed.

      Perhaps, since you included several examples that atheists often use, who also go to websites to get their information, (because that's ok in their own minds I guess...) perhaps you can show me where you find your "proof," that doesn't involve the opinion of someone else, but solid proof. What book do you use for your instruction? Please share...Because I'm guessing that it has to do with leaning on your own understanding, which won't cut it.

      Honestly speaking, I'm only responding for others who might actually think that you have any point whatsoever...

      I'll always stick with God's word, 100 percent. :)

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 4 weeks ago from Houston, TX USA

      Google, "Atrocities in the Bible."

      https://infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/...

      EX 12:29 The Lord kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.

      EX 17:13 With the Lord's approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.

      EX 21:20-21 With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.

      EX 32:27 "Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

      EX 32:27-29 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.

      LE 26:7-8 The Lord promises the Israelites that, if they are obedient, their enemies will "fall before your sword."

      LE 26:22 "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children."

      LE 26:29, DT 28:53, JE 19:9, EZ 5:8-10 As a punishment, the Lord will cause people to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and fathers and friends.

      LE 27:29 Human sacrifice is condoned. (Note: An example is given in JG 11:30-39)

      and many more.

      The above is a False characterization of God. God is Good and always Good. Men falsely claim to act for God when they harm others. Do No Harm.

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      Jay C OBrien,

      Might I ask, what makes you believe that the scriptures depict God as "not being good?"

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      My appologies Jay C OBrien, I've signed up here on Hubpages a few years ago, but only recently began sharing articles. I'm still learning about how it all works.

      Let me see if I can find what you are referencing.

      I certainly am not concerned about answering anything said.

      I'm looking at the comments to my post, and I can't seem to find what you are referencing.

      Feel free to add the comment again, and I'll approve it.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 4 weeks ago from Houston, TX USA

      What is personal opinion? My comment seems to be missing! How can we intelligently converse without a record?

      I believe in God, but a Good God. That is why I have trouble with the Bible depicting God as Jealous, Vengeful or Wrathful. God is Not as depicted in the Bible. God is Good, Man Projects his own problems, but that is Not of God. Get it?

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      Hello Jay C OBrien ,

      That's a personal opinion, and not actually a biblical one. As Christians, we make a choice to either believe God, or not believe Him. His word is preserved, and I for one, will always go with Him before I'd follow personal opinions. The Bible is His word, and Jesus said that people would be offended by some of the things that have been said. The fact is, every Biblical principle goes much deeper, and those who prayerfully seek God through His preserved word, actually find the true meanings.

      No surprises at all. In John Ch. 6, Jesus said some things that are considered to be "controversial" even today. In fact, many of the disciples and the very day, (there were more than the twelve,) walked away and "walked with Him no more," because they were offended at His sayings.

      When Jesus saw this, He looked at the twelve disciples and asked, "Will you also go away?" And Peter responded exactly the way that I'm going to respond right now.

      "To whom would we go Lord Jesus? You are the one who has the truth."

      Verify it for yourself, read John ch. 6.

      Thanks for your response.

    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 4 weeks ago from Florida

      Hi Kari, I completely agree. The Bible says that it is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom, but there are standards set in place. We have to accept Jesus to be grafted in and gain an inheritance into His Kingdom.

      (Luke 12:32, and Romans 11:11-24.)

      God loves us so much that He made a way for us to have direct fellowship with Him. Accepting and believing in Christ Jesus, and having all our faith in God, opens the door to that true and living relationship.

      It's never a matter that He turns anyone away, we all make our own choice to follow Him, or to go our own way.

      Thank you much for your comment. I so appreciate that you read the articles I share here.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 4 weeks ago from Ohio

      I truly believe that God is love and he wants all of us to experience that love. :)