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  • Allen Domelle


Hosea 4:1

Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

God’s controversy with Israel was that He could not find truth, mercy, or the knowledge of God in the land. The word controversy means disagreement. God wanted His children to have these three things, and it was the absence of these things that led to their destruction.

If God looked for these three things in Israel, He most certainly looks for them in believers. God wants every believer to be filled with truth, to have a good knowledge of Him, but also He wants every believer to have mercy.

If there is one thing lacking in many believers, it is mercy. Many love to talk about the judgment of God, but the same God Who judges is also a God of mercy. God wants believers to have mercy because He is merciful. So, if we are to have mercy, what is mercy?

First, mercy is not an absence of judgment. You cannot have mercy until judgment is executed. To say that you are merciful and not punish someone is not true. Mercy happens after the punishment is administered. To be merciful means that you must practice judgment because there can be no mercy without judgment.

Second, mercy is the absence of vengeance. Mercy says that it will not judge in vengeance, but that it will judge according to the law. It is merciful to follow God’s laws of punishment; however, you cannot be merciful if you are filled with a desire for vengeance on the one who did wrong.

Third, mercy is remembering that they are flesh. In the book of Psalms, God remembered that we are but flesh, and that is one reason He is a merciful God. Remembering people are flesh helps you to remember that flesh will make mistakes and that mercy is needed to help them know that you believe they can do better if you are merciful toward them.

Fourth, mercy is saying, “It is enough.” It was God’s mercy that stopped destroying Israel at the threshingfloor of Araunah when David foolishly numbered Israel against God’s command. God looked at His punishment and said, “It is enough.” Mercy says the offender has been punished enough; it is time to end the punishment. All punishment should end, and not being merciful enough to end one’s punishment is wrong.

Fifth, mercy says, “I will forgive.” God’s mercy is what causes Him to forgive us our sins; therefore, if you want to be like God, you must be merciful enough to forgive others when they do you wrong. Not to forgive is not to have mercy, and not to have mercy is disobedience to God’s Word.

Sixth, mercy is the desire to restore the offender. The destination of mercy is that the offender can be restored; therefore, there can be no restoration without mercy. This is why we need to have mercy because mercy desires the offender to be restored back to usefulness.

Do you have mercy? Does God find mercy in your life? You will only have mercy on others if you have God’s love in your heart. An absence of God’s love will result in the absence of mercy towards those who do wrong.


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