Devotion for Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Micah 6:8, “and to love mercy…”
The second requirement of the Lord, aside doing justice and walking humbly, is to love mercy. Mercy is my favorite Old Testament, Hebrew word. Chesed is translated various ways in English. It denotes God’s lovingkindness, unmerited favor, faithfulness, and compassion for the world in general and to those who have responded in faith to His redemptive plan. It also connotes God’s faithful, steadfast, loyal, and covenant love to His people, where he has committed himself to redeeming and forgiving those who have faith in His Son.
Therefore, what is so fascinating in this verse is that God desires (actually, he requires) His people to cherish and embrace the love and mercy that He has bestowed upon them, and to share that same compassion to those around them. I love how the Message paraphrases this concept, “be compassionate and loyal in your love.” In Genesis 15, God confirms the covenant He has made with Abraham by passing through the sacrifices that the patriarch had prepared. He pledges and promises Himself to fulfill the covenant. This demonstrates God’s relentless loyalty to His plan of salvation. When God forgives, He forgives completely, compassionately, and loyally. God and His Son have declared to us, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6/Heb. 13:5)
We should be loyal in our mercy and compassion. God’s mercy knows no conditions or qualifications upon those He has saved. He calls us to mirror that lovingkindness. Have you been kind, compassionate, and merciful to someone who has returned it with hatefulness, bitterness, or contempt? God calls us to be loyal to His compassion toward those who have persecuted us. Does the individual you have forgiven continue to sin against you? Christ calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven, seventy times seven. (Matt. 18:22) Never stop being compassionate! There is no one alive today, no matter his or her lifestyle, politics, or religious preferences, to whom God has not called you to be merciful and compassionate.
As we saw yesterday, God desires justice. Yet, it is no coincidence that the next action God requires of His people is compassion, lovingkindness, and mercy. Man’s justice is all about retribution, restitution, reciprocity, and revenge. But God desires His justice to lead into redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. How is this achieved? It is realized not through human means, but through the compassion and kindness of God’s chesed. This is what God desires in you each day, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32)
Pastor, Sharon First Baptist Church
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