Saturday, October 24, 2009

Devotional: The Mercy of God

The Mercy of God

by Marsha Iddings

2 Samuel 19:18-23 And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan; And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD'S anointed? And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel? Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.

When Absalom staged a coup to take over the throne, David was fleeing and the man Shemei went along cursing David and throwing dust at him. David's advisers suggested that they should go take the man's head off, but David said to leave him alone because the Lord had bidden him to do it and perhaps later the Lord would requite him good for his affliction. (2 Samuel 16:10-12.)

When David returns after Absalom's death, Shemei meets David and confesses that he had sinned against him and tells David to do with him whatever seems good. Abishai recommends that he be put to death, but David is merciful and spares his life. It seems that he forgives the man.

This is instructive to me. When someone wrongs me and comes and confesses what they have done, asking for forgiveness or mercy, it is my duty to extend forgiveness and mercy to them.

I see in this story, an example of what God has done for me through Jesus Christ. Because I am a sinner, and God is holy, I deserve eternal death in Hell. But through God's mercy in Jesus Christ, He has granted me eternal life as I fall on His mercy and forgiveness. Satan, the accuser of the brethren, would like to have me condemned to death, but God mercifully says, “You shall not die.” And He swears by His own Son who took that punishment for sin for me. Anyone who realizes they are a sinner condemned to Hell and falls on the mercy of God for salvation will have eternal life in heaven. What a merciful God we have!

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