Friday, July 8

Mercy triumphs over judgment

I've been working my way through James.

In James 2:12, there's a little phrase at the end that says "mercy triumphs over judgment." A question that popped into my mind was whether or not this is applicable to God. God is the ultimate Judge and is full of mercy. And I've always heard that He does not (cannot?) compromise one to reveal the other. However, the word "triumph" implies that one is victorious while the other is not.

This makes me think of the people of Nineveh. Many people know the story of he's sent to tell the people of Nineveh that they have 40 days until destruction for their disobedience. A message of judgment, not mercy. And yet, the people recognized their sin and immediately repented of their ways and what happened? God showed mercy, not judgment. Mercy won!

Then Jonah shares a key verse to explain why mercy won: "for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity" (Jonah 4:2). As I've written before, these phrases of God's character are repeated 8 times in the Old Testament. Characteristics that speak of God's unending mercy and unlimited love.

Even in my own life this is applicable. Sin and destruction permeated my heart and mind. I was on a road that ended with God's judgment. And yet at the point of repentance, Mercy stepped in and saved me. Jesus' received all of God's judgment so that mercy can triumph in our lives.

Hmmm...maybe it's at the cross where God does not (cannot) compromise these two attributes. For all the mercy that we are shown, Jesus received all the judgment. I'll have to chew on this a bit more.

Anyhow, this is what I've been thinking through. May mercy triumph in and through you today!

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