Mercy Not Merit | The Institute for Creation Research
Mercy Not Merit

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22).

When a Christian comes to the place in his life when he realizes he has committed grievous sin, there is no greater comfort than the Scriptures.

God’s people went into captivity because of their sin, and although it must have seemed at times that they had been forsaken, God was always faithful. After their return to Jerusalem, Nehemiah brought them comfort by reading the word of God, hour upon hour. First, the people “stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers” (Nehemiah 9:2). Then the priests recounted God’s gracious dealing with His people, beginning with creation. “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, and thou preservest them all” (9:6). What follows is the account of God’s blessing upon Abraham, and the deliverance from Egypt, and the giving of “right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments . . .” and provision of food and water in the wilderness (9:13). We see the stark contrast between a God who does all and who provides all, and His people who respond by refusing to obey, appointing a “captain to return to their bondage” (9:17).

The verses that follow provide comfort for a Christian who has rejected the provision of his Lord and refused to trust His leading. “But thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. . . . Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness” (9:17,19).

When we come face to face with our sin and are at the mercy of Him whom we have rejected, our confidence is this: God never abandoned His people—not because they merited His favor, but “because His compassions fail not.” CJH

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