So I’ve been basing these #AtoZchallenge posts on a cross-stitch my Mum made for me a few years ago. Each letter depicts a title for God, with a picture and a Bible verse. Today’s letter, M, shows the phrase ‘Merciful Lord’ and the verse Psalm 100:5.
The Bible version I’m reading this year is the NLT, the New Living Translation. It’s a modern-language translation first released in 1996, like the more popular NIV (New International Version, first released in 1978) which I’ve used previously.
Neither the NIV nor the NLT however, have the word ‘mercy’ or ‘merciful’ in this Bible verse though. In fact, I needed to go back to the King James Version of the Bible (released in 1611) to find the word ‘mercy’ in that verse! It reads:
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth for all generations.”
Instead of ‘mercy’, the NIV uses the word ‘love’ and the NLT uses ‘unfailing love’. I also found it interesting that the English Standard Version (ESV) uses ‘steadfast love’ and the New American Standard Bible uses ‘lovingkindness’ for this same word.
So that got me thinking: What is ‘mercy’, anyway?
Google’s definition: “compassion or forgiveness shown to someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”. Yup, that’s kinda what I had it pegged as.
According to www.gotquestions.org, “Mercy is the withholding of a just condemnation.” Now that’s concise. I like it.
In both situations, the more powerful creature could have harmed the weaker, but chose to show mercy instead. Then the situations are reversed, and the weaker shows mercy to the stronger.
Well, God’s definitely the more powerful one in our relationship, and I’m glad he’s chosen to show me mercy. (Unlike the Aesop’s fables though, I can’t imagine the situations ever being reversed!)
So that’s my lesson for today: His mercy begets my gratitude!
Have a lovely day, dear reader!