God’s Mercy in the Midst of Punishment

As we go through our Christian walk we find ourselves noticing things in the Bible or about God over and over. We notice certain themes throughout the Bible or specific attributes of God. And when we notice them they seemingly pop up continually in our daily lives. For me recently, well since January or so, I have noticed God’s mercy in the Bible over and over. Mercy is an amazing thing, especially God’s mercy on us.

Recently I heard a sermon preached from 1 Chronicles 21. This chapter discusses where David sinned against God by taking a census of all the people in his army to see just how big it was. God was very displeased in David and a unique situation arises. God tells David that he is going to be punished, but he gets to choose one of three different ways to be punished. One was to have a famine that lasted for three years. Another choice was for three months to be defeated by David’s enemies in battle. The third choice was to let God Himself punish the people with pestilence and with the angel of the LORD destroying the people of Israel. And in verse thirteen David chooses the punishment. He said,

Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

He chooses three days of pestilence from God rather than falling into the hands of man. Why? Because he knows that God is merciful. So God through pestilence killed 70,000 people. Then, as the angel of the LORD was getting ready obliterate the city of Jerusalem God was moved. He told the angel to stop. David had wisely chosen God. It is far worse to be in the hands of men than it is to be in the hands of God. For even when God is punishing us, He has compassion and mercy upon us. Men, especially in war, are many times merciless. It’s the name of the game. But God is a God who loves us and has mercy upon us even when we deserve punishment. That’s the name of the game with God.

Just a small insight into the mercy of God, which endures forever.

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