God's Unending Mercy and Our Covenant Commitment

Psalm 103:17-18
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Mercy is often described as when our Lord withholds from us the punishment which we rightly deserve. Lam. 3:22 says that it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. And yet again in Psalm 103:10, we are taught that “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Looking at the full spectrum of God’s mercy, then, we learn that He does not give it to us because we are deserving, but rather because He is compassionate!

Now, let’s look at conditions under which mercy is guaranteed. Verse 17 says that His mercy is upon them that fear Him. The word “fear” here means “morally reverent”, which implies that our behavior is such that illustrates our desire to be submissive and humble before Him.

Verse 18 then says that His mercy is upon “such as keep his covenant”. The word “keep” here, along with meaning “observe”, also means “to hedge about as with thorns”. The significance of “keeping” God’s promises in such fashion can be no better illustrated than by looking to Christ on the Cross, where God’s blood covenant was quite literally and figuratively hedged about with thorns, even as our Savior wore a crown of thorns upon His own head. This assures us that even when we fail to protect the preserve the covenant, He secured it by His own measure, and thus has every right to have mercy upon whom He will have mercy!

It is under this great truth, then, that we are able to “remember his commandments to do them”. That is, we remember what He said for the specific purpose and intention of doing them, while living in His mercy.

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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