The Israelites and Us: Gods Love and Mercy 


Time and time again throughout the story of the Israelites God shows his love and forgiveness. From the beginning, from creation He was and still is involved with his creation. He cares deeply about each of us. 

He comforted Sarah’s servant, Hagar, when she ran away because of the way Sarah treated her and again when she was sent away because Sarah demanded she leave. (Genesis 16: 7-14, Genesis 21:9-20)

He appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He saved Lot from Sodom. (Genesis 17:22, Genesis 26:23-25, Genesis 28:10-15, Genesis 19:15-17)

He encouraged Moses when He appeared to him in the burning bush to give him his mission. (Exodus 3:2-4, Exodus 3:7-14, Exodus 4:1-5, Exodus 6:2-5, Exodus 6:11-12)

He saved Rahab from Jericho’s destruction when she believed and hid the spies Joshua sent. (Joshua 2:1-21, Hebrews 11:31)

He had compassion on and strengthened the prophets He sent to Israel. (2 Chronicles 15:7-8, 1 Kings 19:12-18, Jeremiah 1:4-10)

He had compassion on Hannah. She was married to Elkanah who also had another wife named Peninnah. Peninnah Had children but Hannah was barren. Peninnah taunted and made fun of Hannah. When Hannah could not take it anymore she poured her heart out to God and prayed for a son and God answered her and gave her a son and she praised God. She dedicated her son to the Lord and God gave her more children. (1 Samuel 1:5-20)

He sent Jonah to preach to non-Israelites, Gentiles, the wicked city of Nineveh so He could have mercy on them when they repented. (Jonah 4:1-11)

God encouraged his disciples and does the same for us. (John 16:33)

God brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt even though at times they doubted and rejected Moses the one God chose and called to lead them out of Egypt. When things got hard they complained. We can be the same way. God became angry with them but still His mercy showed. He could have wiped out the  Israelites all together with a word, a wave of His hand or a single breath. They kept turning and rebelling against Him in the desert and when they settled in the promise land. They even killed His prophets he sent in His mercy to turn them back to Him. We are the same. We keep turning from Him, but God is merciful. We deserve His anger, but He is full of compassion and mercy. (Exodus 34:6, Psalms 103:8, Isaiah 1:18-20, Isaiah 57:16-18, Jeremiah 7:25, Jeremiah 44:4)

Throughout Judges God raised up godly judges time after time to deliver and rescue Israel even though time after time they rebelled against him. Later when Kings ruled He raised up many prophets. They were mocked and killed. We rebel and time after time we turn away, but God gives us second chances time and again just like he did for them. God relentlessly pursues us as He did them because of His great love for us. If we are sincerely seeking Him, He will forgive us. He always keeps His promises. (Judges 2:16, Judges 2:18, 2nd Kings 17:13-15, 2 Chronicles 36:15-16)

God pursues us in love and sends others, His word, His spirit and more to move us to repentance and returning to Him. He pursued the Israelites calling them to repent and return to Him time and time again. (Jeremiah 3:12-15, Zechariah 1:3, Joel 2:12-13)

He knows us fully, all we’ve done and all we will do, and yet He came and died for each of us. He loves us the same no matter what, just as we are. He forgives us in his mercy and grace and uses our mistakes to help us learn and grow to be more like Him. If we humbly turn back to Him He will give us a new heart, a new desire for Him and the things that are close to His heart. He will have mercy on us and help and bless us. (Deuteronomy 30:2, Deuteronomy 30:6, Deuteronomy 30:9 -10)

His mercies are new every morning and he sympathies with our weakness. He is our mediator between God and us. He is our high priest. He loves us so much and longs for us to come to him, to come back to Him when we sin. Heaven celebrates when one sinner turns to Him in repentance. He celebrates when we return to Him. (2 Chronicles 30:9, Lamentations 3:22-23, Luke 15:7, Luke 15:17-24, Romans 5:8, Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 9:15, 1 John 2:1-2)

Does god not punish sin then? Yes they were punished but even then God showed his mercy by not  destroying them all. He always saved a remnant. He always extended his hand in love. God does not like to see wicked people die because of their sin, but rather that they return to Him. (Deuteronomy 4:27-31, Deuteronomy 8:5, Ezekiel 18:23, Ezra 9:13, Nehemiah 1:8-9, Jeremiah 46:27-28, Micah 7:18, Hebrews 12:7, Revelation 3:19)

When king David sinned by taking a census of the people God gave him 3 choices as punishment. David replied by falling on God’s mercy and chose to let God send a plague for 3 days. Just as Gods angel was about to destroy Jerusalem, God in His mercy relented. God told David to build an altar where the and offer sacrifices. God accepted the sacrifices and stopped the plague. (1 Chronicles 21:4-8, 1 Chronicles 21:11-15, 1 Chronicles 21:17-22, 1 Chronicles 21:26-27)

The weight and power of sin was felt through the law that was given to them. It gave sin power over them since it showed them right from wrong. It kept them in bondage. It showed how faulty we are as humans and how we could never measure up. God is holy and requires perfectness. God sent Jesus in His mercy to fulfill the law and the law pointed directly to Him. (Galatians 3:19-22, Romans 8:2, Romans 7:9-13, Romans 10:4, Matthew 5:17)

Jesus was God’s mercy at work. He took our place so God could forgive us and show us grace. God‘s heart is for us, longing for us to come to Him. Once we are His we are free from the bondage the law brings to sin. He came to satisfy the law and set us free in His mercy and grace. (John 3:17, Romans 6:14, Romans 8:1-4, Romans 11:32)

God is love and commanded us to love others. Throughout the Old Testament God showed love to humanity and gave laws that showed love and mercy and compassion to others. (Galatians 5:14)


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