Mercy, Justice and Righteousness 2
In our article last week, we saw that God wants us to have a mature understanding of His character: mercy, justice and righteousness.
In particular, we saw that the mercy of God must be balanced with His justice and righteousness: God cannot show so much mercy to one person so that in so doing He is unjust to another or unrighteous in His conduct.
To understand these things better, we considered the example of Saul and David.
This week will be looking at other examples:
Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar:
God completely destroyed Pharaoh’s first born (Ex. 12.29-31) and His army in the Red Sea (Ex.14.15-31) because of his pride and stubbornness.
Nebuchadnezzar too was proud (Dan.3.15, 4.30) but God’s judgement on him was tempered with mercy by restoring His Kingdom to him and causing him to acknowledge the supremacy and Lordship of the God of Israel (Dan.3.28-30; 4.31-37).
Belshazzar was killed the same night he took the vessels of the house of God to drink to the god’s of wine: some thing his father would never have dared to do because of his reverence to the God of Israel (Dan.6.18-30).
These examples show us that the degree of the integrity of a man’s heart will determine the degree of the mercy God shows him.
Jeroboam, Ahab and Manasseh:
God’s judgment on Jeroboam was total because of his idolatry and unfaithfulness to God after God had given him 10 tribes to rule over because Solomon’s idolatry (1 Kgs. 14.7-11).
Ahab too was a wicked King however because he humbled himself before God: God’s judgement on him was tempered with mercy (1 Kgs.21.17-29).
Manasseh was a very wicked King in fact more wicked (2 Kgs. 21.1-16) than both Jeroboam and Ahab, however it is strange that he received more mercy than they did; why?
He received more mercy than Jeroboam and Ahab that preserved him from destruction until he repented (2 Chr. 33.11-16) because of the integrity and righteousness of his father Hezekiah and the fact that his repentance was deep and thorough it was backed with acts of restitution.
13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. NKJV
7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him. NKJV
So we see that the degree of mercy God shows depends on the degree of the integrity of our hearts shown by acts of righteousness.