Read Psalm 106
Focus on verses 44-46
Mercy is what one receives when one deserves to be punished but the sentence is not carried out. A judge extends mercy to the accused when he or she withholds or diminishes punishment even though it has become clear that the accused is guilty as charged.
A significant portion of today’s reading lists the ways in which the people of Israel tested the patience of the Lord with their blatant disobedience. The rap sheet is impressive and one gets the impression that they do not deserve mercy, yet when he looked upon their distress and heard their cry…He “relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.”
God certainly has an abundance of steadfast love, not just because of the ways Israel tested Him, but also to put up with the shenanigans of His people since then. Even just the ways that I have tested His patience over the years would be enough to cause me to give up if I were in His place.
I am glad that He is abundant in steadfast love and mercy. If He was not I suspect I would already have been cut off, and I am not yet done testing Him. Not that I willfully look for ways to make God angry, on the contrary I typically try my best to be obedient, its just that I know there will yet be more times when I will fail to do all that I should. It is for this reason that I am grateful for His abundant steadfast love and mercy.