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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Romans 9: 14-26

“And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the VESSELS of MERCY, which He had prepared beforehand for glory”” Romans 9:23

Virtually every divine move towards humanity derives from GOD’S HEART of MERCY: What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the VESSELS of MERCY, which He had prepared beforehand for glory(Rom.9:22-23). Over the generations, God has permitted certain individuals to peer into His Heart and catch glimpses – fresh revelations – of His Mercy.

Here are Three Glimpses into God’s Heart of Mercy:

Moses saw Mercy: A glimpse of God’s Mercy came to Moses after he had asked God to show him His glory (Exo.33:18-19). In response, God displayed His goodness in Grace and Mercy – and declared His utter freedom in showing Mercy to whomever He chooses. God’s Mercy on Israel was not earned. Rather, He chose in His sovereignty, to be merciful to His people. He will not clear the guilty and sweep sin under the rug. But a leading revelation of His Glory is His Mercy (Exo.34:6-7). God’s Grace and Mercy shine as the apex of His Glory. He is “slow to anger” – He will show wrath, and justly so. And yet even in such justice, He is slow to anger. Wrath is His righteous response to evil, but it is not His heart. Justice is the stem; Mercy is the flower.

David Fell on Mercy: Israel, even in the days of David, never forgot Moses’s glimpse of the merciful God! It would be remembered, even as His people turned their backs to Him, “the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you if you return to Him” (2Chr.30:9). The prophets celebrated God as “gracious and merciful” (Jeol 2:13; Jon.4;2). In particular, the Psalms basked in His Mercy (Psa.86:5; 103:8; 116:5b; 145:9). Not surprisingly, David cast himself fully on God’s Mercy (Psa.51:1).

When David recognized his sin against God by numbering the people, the prophet Gad gave him three options for God’s discipline: “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land?” (2Sam.24:23). David had glimpsed the Heart of God, and he knew where to fall: “Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great; but let me not fall into the hand of man” (2Sam.24:14).

Paul Marveled at Mercy: Jesus is the Mercy of God made human! In the fullness of time, God sent His own Son not simply to dispense His mercy, but to embody it. He taught His people to echo God’s Mercy in their lives (Mt.5:7; 18:33; Lk.6:36; 10:37). More importantly, Jesus was, and is, the Mercy of God to us. Fittingly, the most prominent request made of Jesus in the Gospels is, “Have mercy on me!” (Mt.9:27; 15:22; 17:15; 20:30-31; Mk.10:47-48; Lk.16:24; 17:13; 18:13, 38-39). In His perfect life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection – Jesus extended God’s Mercy not just to Israel, but to all the nations by faith.                                                           

Paul received his ministry by God’s Mercy and gave a conclusive revelation (2Cor.4:1; 1Tim.1:13, 16). What Moses saw and David fell on, Paul saw on the other side of Christ, and marvelled at (Rom.9:16). God’s mercy expresses His Heart in a way that the demonstration of His wrath and the display of His power do not! Romans 9: 22-23 provides a deep glimpse into God’s Heart, and what we find at bottom is Mercy! God is all-powerful. He is also the God of uncompromising justice. But He is the Merciful God! He shows wrath at the trampling of His glory and the harming of His people. But wrath is not His heart. Severity in God always serves His Heart of Mercy – to make known the riches of His Glory to His people, turning us into the vessels of His Mercy.

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, our powerful and just God, let YOUR HEART of MERCY reveal the riches of Your Glory to make us Vessels of Mercy, in Jesus name.
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