Unlimited: Mercy and Compassion
Mar 14, 2023 281
For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom. 9:15).
This quote from Exodus 33:19 both emphasizes and answers Paul’s rhetorical question of whether God is unjust in loving Jacob and “hating” Esau.
The Lord God said these words to Moses when he asked God to show him his glory (Ex. 33:18–19.) After this, the Lord called Moses up to Mt Sinai, where he:
… came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation” (Ex. 34:5–7.)
Even when the Lord punishes the guilty he still loves them. He still shows mercy and compassion to them.
The context here is that even when the Lord punishes the guilty he still loves them. He still shows mercy and compassion to them. This is how he treated Israel in the wilderness.
The point Paul is making is that God is free to show grace to whomever he wishes to give grace. If it were any other way, and specifically if grace could be merited or earned, it would no longer be grace. Grace is shown through compassion and mercy.
Have you ever tried to earn God’s grace? Whether you have or haven’t, just stop for a moment and think about how ludicrous that is!