“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” Luke 1:50-55
Yesterday I wrote about Mary’s praise for God’s preserving character, but today I want to focus on her praise for God’s mercy. She knew God to be merciful, why? She had seen Him show mercy on those who love and worship Him. She had seen God’s mercy in her people’s history and in her own.
What does it mean that God is merciful? God in His mercy does not give us what our sins deserve. He limits the extent of pain. He restrains evil and holds back sin. He makes His gospel known in places where people have turned their backs on Him. God seeks those who are lost, alone, hurting and in need. He forgives and restores those who repent and turn to Him in faith.
Mary knew that due to their sins in the past- worshiping other gods, idolatry, the people of Israel should have been abandoned by God in the desert, in Babylon, to their enemies, BUT God in His mercy saved them. She knew that because of their rejection of Him- they should have been overpowered, taken captives and scattered throughout the world, BUT God in His mercy brought them back, kept them as one people returning them from Egypt and Babylon. Mary knew that God is merciful to the individuals who love and revere Him- David as he fled from King Saul’s persecution, Daniel who survived the Lion’s Den, Joseph who survived being taken captive, imprisoned, wrongfully treated and then elevated to a high position so he could save his brothers, and herself. She knew God was merciful to her by allowing her to be the mother of the coming Messiah, for choosing her, protecting and keeping her safe in a culture that would have rejected and mistreated her. Her love for God and her thankfulness for His unending mercies shouts to us today.
How have you experienced God’s mercy? Has He found you when you were lost spiritually, been with you when you were alone, or come to you when you were hurting from worldly circumstances? Definitely if you know Jesus as your Savior, you have experienced the mercy of forgiveness and restoration, salvation and the hope it brings. What mercy can you thank God for this Christmas season? One of my favorite promises is Lamentations 3:21-23 “Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” I know and trust that God in His mercy will renew me each morning and give me a fresh new day. He is merciful, loving and faithful to me. Mary knew this, do you?
Thankful for God’s mercies to me,
Here is a quote I found that really spoke to me. This truth gives me great reason to Praise Him along with Mary for His great Mercy.