Sunday, September 22, 2019

Rhetorical Question on Mercy

Rhetorical Question on Mercy
September 22, 2019
Romans 9:15  "For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'"

I was listening to a radio station on my commute to work, and the pastor on-air asked callers to bring difficult theological questions to the forefront.  He was attempting to be the expert and answer all the ponderings of Scripture. One caller brought forth a question I've never heard asked. He wanted to know why in the Old Testament that stoning was the mandate for being caught in adultery, and yet King David did not get stoned when caught in his affair with Bathsheba. Good question. The pastor did not actually have an answer that was satisfactory, other than suggesting it was David's own privilege at the time. Who would have dared to bring up a stone against a king, and rather the Lord dealt with David for sins anyway. David did not escape discipline, but he certainly escaped being stoned to death. In short, the Lord had mercy on David and did not require David's death.

But what does it take to get the Lord's mercy and compassion? In looking at David, he had a great history with the Lord. He represented the Lord before the world at the time, in his triumph over Goliath. David, in everything he did, honored the Lord with his life, until he didn't. That is, David was as perfect a "Christian" as possible until he fell into sin.  His sin was a point of failure in life, after years and years of service to the One True King. David had a great history with the Lord, maybe the Lord reviewed that history before requiring the stoning. Maybe the Lord decided there was enough good in him worth sparing, or that a different course of action would work rather than taking him out. Regardless of the Lord's thinking, He never enforced the stoning. David received the Lord's mercy and maybe it was out of compassion. Whatever the reasoning, David benefited; the situation could have been far worse. 

The Lord says He will have mercy on whomever He has mercy and compassion on whomever He has compassion. In essence, the Lord is saying its none of our business  on the formula for receiving mercy and compassion from the Lord. The reason there is no formula is because man would try to manipulate Him instead of honoring Him from pure motives. The Lord says He cannot be mocked, that a man will reap what he sows. David had sown goodness and mercy and that's what he reaped. You cannot fake sowing goodness or mercy or compassion; it has to come from your heart. The Lord will show you mercy and compassion if that is what is in your heart, otherwise you are likely to get the stoning. 

Feel like you're getting stoned on a daily basis? Maybe you did not sow enough mercy and compassion, maybe your history with the Lord does not warrant grace right now from Him. Before you suggest that the Lord is full of mercy and grace and it is  a right to be received, you might want to refresh yourself on the Bible. The Lord is the one who determines when you get mercy, not you. You don't get to forgive your own sins and you don't get to apply the Lord's mercy on yourself.  David did not escape the Lord's discipline, just the stoning. Do not mistake mercy from getting out of discipline. You might feel like you're getting beat up, but maybe the punishment would be far worse right now if the Lord wasn't administering mercy. The rhetorical question is not why the Lord had mercy on David, rather why do you deserve the Lord's mercy today.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Rom 9:1-24, Gal 6:7-8

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