Much like Grace,which we have already gone over, Mercy is another word used often to describe God and His actions. Most people would describe mercy is “receipt of a favor or consequence which wasn’t deserved”, while I agree with that definition, I think we can come to a better conclusion!
I think as we go through this quick study, God’s grace (defined as: Someone in Authority bowing down happily to give a gift to someone in lowly stature, such as a peasant) and mercy will jump out of the page more for you and you will be surprised at how beautiful our God really is.
Mercy in English comes from Anglo-French ‘Merci’, which means as ‘Pity or Thanks’ while Merci comes from the Latin Merced- which means ‘Paid Wages or reward’. The word in Greek is very similar, it is the word ‘Eleos’ (ἔλεος), which according to Strongs NT concordance means “mercy; kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them”
I think we’re getting to the bottom of this but, we need more information. Our final source will come from the Hebrew word that is used in the Old Testament to describe God. Then, like we did with Grace, we’ll combine them and get a median definition.
In the Hebrew, the most commonly used word to mean mercy is ‘racham’(רַחַם), which means compassion. I think something else interesting that we can add, is that this word also means ‘deep’ or ‘bowels’. So it means: something at the very center of someone’s being.
So what have we understood as a full meaning of mercy? Mercy from a combination of all languages used from the original manuscripts and then our current language means simply “Compassionately pays the price due to the miserable and afflicted in an effort to relieve them”
Let’s break this new definition down. (Now you’re saying, this sounds just like the original definition only wordier) God not only continually pays the price or the wage due to us daily out of compassion simply to provide relief, but He also does this compassionately or literally ‘with passion’. As I said earlier that definition of ‘Deeply’ will come into play. He feels so strongly and cares so much about the miserable and the afflicted, which is all of humanity, that daily He passionately takes away our dues for our screwups. What wages would need to be paid for our sin? Paul tells us in Romans, “the wages of sin is death”.
So if we have a gracious and merciful God what does that actually mean? In one sentence, we come to this conclusion. God happily and passionately bows down to provide favor in order to distribute relief to the poor and afflicted and pay the price due to their continual failures. That my friends, is what I wanted to write this whole time.
You ask why my blog is named ‘Something Extraordinary’, that right there is the reason. An all-powerful God in Hellenistic thought would have ignored us and moved on to a different planet, in Egyptian thought He would have destroyed us or made us slaves, in Babylonian thought He would be sacrificing our children to appease him.
But God, who is rich in mercy, joyfully and passionately sent His only Son to die on a cross for our sins in order to provide relief for the poor, afflicted, pitiable and woeful to pay one price for our failures: past, present, and future.
Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
And that, my friends, is Something Extraordinary.