Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Mercy droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven...

"Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful."  (Luke 6:  36).

Mercy is the preeminent attribute of God.  In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare shows that mercy can also be a human attribute:

"The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the thronèd monarch better than his crown."

Like the Unforgiving Servant, Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice ignored the plea for mercy.
Jesus urges us to be merciful as our Heavenly Father is always merciful.  But Abba Father's mercy comes with a condition: "Forgive and you will be forgiven."  (Luke 6: 37).  And again: "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  (Matthew 6: 12).  We see that it is Father's intention to make mercy a human policy.

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.
Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me. For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your eyes.....

I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you."
(Psalm 51: 3 - 6, 15).
The reformed sinner has not only become merciful but is now an evangelist of Mercy.

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