by Leighton Flowers & Eric Kemp
Often we hear the objection that God is not obligated to have mercy on anyone. That’s true. However, the fact that God is not obligated to be merciful towards all people is what makes the display of His mercy to all people so amazingly gracious and abundantly glorious. That God does what He is not obligated to do for no other reason than He desires to be merciful to all is glorious.
Anyone suggesting this display of mercy isn’t genuine (or that’s it’s just an outward/external “prescriptive” will of God, but that His real secret desire is only to show mercy to a preselected few) is diminishing the abundance of His mercy and the glory of His grace extended to every person.
Also, I think sometimes there is an assumption that mercy is weakness. But that could not be further from the truth. Mercy can only be handed down by someone in a place of judgement over another. If it is not within my power to pass condemnation on someone, then it is also not within my power to have mercy on them. Mercy is an expression of power, not of weakness.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” -Ps 145:8-9
“For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” -Rom 11:32