Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Psalms 136 is an amazing Psalm. In many of the older translations all 26 verses end with the same phrase; “For his mercy endures forever.”
Each verse is a snap shot of God’s goodness to all mankind first of all and then to His Chosen people especially.
It is the mercy of God that has given us a world to live in. It is the mercy of God that has surrounded us with beauty to enjoy and food to eat. We are nothing and can do nothing to deserve any of this. We were each one born by no virtue of our own. We each one grew to where we are only because God’s mercy has given us life and intelligence and wisdom.
The children of Israel did nothing to earn the goodness of God. Actually if you read about them a little you would certainly say, “The goodness of God was indeed merciful.”
When I look at my own life… well, I have no reason for pride. God is indeed merciful to continue to encourage me to draw close to him. I look around and see multitudes of people who have no interest in drawing closer to God, and I realize that except for his mercy, I would be in the same place.
And so when I see Jesus’ blessing on those who show mercy, my only reasonable response is to commit to learn to be merciful as God has been so merciful to me.
God’s mercy is still poured out on all of mankind as he still provides food enough to feed the world, spring time and harvest, and winter for rest. He has given us His Word and His Son. If we do not learn to be merciful, how will they know?
When the religious leaders condemned Jesus for eating with sinners he responded; Matthew 9:12-13
The ones who are whole do not need a physician, but the ones who are sick. But go and learn what this is, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.