“Blessed Are The Merciful”

Blessed Are The Merciful (Mat. 5:7)

Wade Webster

For several weeks we have been considering the attitude that we are to have in worship (John 4::23-24). To analyze and adjust our attitudes we have been examining the beatitudes of the Bible. This week we will consider Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.”

God is a holy God and requires holiness of those who approach Him. He is gentle and expects gentleness. He is peaceful and expects us to be at peace with our fellow man. He is merciful and demands the same. Since mercy is the attribute that we are considering this week, let’s remind ourselves of this attribute of God. Consider how God described Himself to Moses on the mount: “And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7). It is always enlightening to hear how a person introduces themselves. They usually stress attributes that they value or hold in high esteem. They reveal by what they say how they want others to see them or to know them. Obviously, our assessments of ourselves can be and often are flawed as humans. However, God’s assessment of Himself is as perfect as He is. The very first attribute that God mentioned to Moses about Himself was mercy. Clearly, God values mercy in Himself and in those who stand before Him. Jesus declared, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).

In addition to being like the God that we worship, we must be merciful to obtain mercy. Solomon noted, “The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh” (Proverbs 11:17). In like manner, James wrote, “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). The truthfulness of these verses is clearly driven home in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Mat. 18:23-35). The man in the parable lost the great mercy that he had been shown because of the small mercy that he refused to show his fellow man. We must not make the same mistake. The best of us comes before God in desperate need of mercy. To receive it, we must show it. We should come before God with the attitude of the publican who smote his chest and begged for mercy (Lk. 18:9-14). With such attitudes God is well pleased.

As we get ready to worship this week, let’s remember that God is a merciful God and that He desires mercy in those who come before Him. If we come before without having shown mercy, then we will leave as empty as we came.