“I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing” Psalm 101:1.
“Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” Romans 8:18.
“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” James 2:13.
We often hear the words, “Mercy triumphs over judgment” and yet I wonder if we truly understand the full meaning of the saying. My thoughts are that both go hand-in-hand and they are intertwined with each other.
Our immediate thought is that God in His infinite grace and love will exempt us from the judgment. However, I believe that His judgments which are true, are given in His great love for us. When we use the analogy of a parent that exercises judgment towards a child who has disobeyed them, we see that if the judgment or discipline is appropriate, we conclude that the parent used his or her judgment in a way that might produce good character in that child, at least at some point and time.
If a child darts out into the street where traffic is heavy and dangerous, a mother or father would show their love in pulling them away from the situation. If then that parent puts restrictions on the child and they lose certain privileges that they once had, then we would deem this as an appropriate consequence of the child’s actions.
When a nation has strayed from God so far that their sins have become common place, and their hearts have been hardened towards God, then like the earthly father, the heavenly father needs to act. While God’s patience is shown in long-suffering towards us, there comes a time when the stench of a nation’s sins have reached His throne too many times. There comes a time when the safety net has been lifted, and then judgment is declared in His righteousness.
We know from the past how Israel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians. They had been warned time after time by the prophet Jeremiah. And yet they forsook those warnings, and then God’s judgment came in form of their chains and captivity.
How many times must we be warned? How many times would an earthly father allow that young child to venture out onto that busy street? It is in mercy that that earthly father prevents that young child to venture out again into danger. I say that it is in mercy that God’s judgment is poured out. Even when the waters rise; even when the earth splits open, and even when the tidal waves come surging onto the coastlines God is showing His mercy. He is showing His mercy to get our attention so that we will run to Him. And yet in the process many would die in these calamities to come. Even so, many lives have been lost when their hearts were hardened. Many died as chariots and soldiers were swept away in the Red Sea. Many lives were lost in battles that are recorded in scripture and throughout our history as a people.
When the land is cleansed through these judgments that come, how many will still have hardened hearts? Or will more be saved in the process because God finally got their attention? I am told time after time that those who put their trust in Him will dwell safely under His wings. They will be safe even when these things come and that is shown in great mercy towards us. And yet even in the severe judgments that have started and will intensify, His mercy is shown in the midst of the judgments to draw more unto Himself.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?