The Saving Mercy of God Settles the Anxious Heart.

The greatest joys in life are knowing Christ and seeing others meet Him. Yet of equal magnitude in grief is seeing those who hear the Gospel refuse Him.

Romans 9 shows us how to find our way back to joy. Paul's answer is considering God, His person and His attributes. This will give us the ability to work our way out of any grief.

The Lord saves faithfully, according to His Word and His promises (Romans 9:6-13). The Lord also saves mercifully; this is the focus of Paul's next paragraph (Romans 9:14-18). It is not wise to focus on what God doesn't do. Every person He saves is a demonstration of His mercy.

Paul cites two examples from the book of Exodus to showcase God's mercy. Mercy is always coupled with judgment. When God's people rebelled in Exodus 32-33, the Lord was angry and judged them through a plague. However, only 3000 people were put to death out of 2 million. God was still working out His decree to save the human race, and He always left them an option to return (Exodus 32:7-14, 33:3-6).

Throughout Exodus 7-14, the narrative notes that Pharaoh's heart was hardened 15 times. Exodus 9:16 reveals that God had merciful intentions even for the ruler of the nation enslaving His people. God allowed Pharaoh to live through the whole Exodus story, offering him many chances to do the right thing.

"God gave Pharaoh the opportunity to repent, but instead, Pharaoh resisted God and hardened his heart. The fault is not with God but with Pharaoh. ...The same sunlight that melts the ice hardens the clay. God was not unrighteous in His dealings with Pharaoh, because He gave him opportunities to repent and to believe. He had raised him up to show His power to him."

"Pharaoh was a Gentile and Moses was a Jew, but mercy and salvation was offered to them both." Pharaoh was a ruler, and Moses was a slave; both in their lives were murderers, and God offered mercy to both.

God's sovereignty is a comfort and a mystery. Those living in rejection of Christ are evidence of God's mercy and their own depravity.

"If all were to be saved, we would doubt the holiness of God. If all were condemned, we would doubt the love of God."

Application Points

  • Don't dwell on who God doesn't save. Every person He does save is a demonstration of His mercy. This mercy is extended to all, even the most wicked. When you get discouraged about those He has not saved yet, reflect on your own testimony to start. He does save: He saved you!

Tools for Further Study

A Hymn to Encourage: "Wonderful, Merciful Savior"

Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and friend,
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men!
Oh, You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace,
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way.
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way.

You are the one that we praise!
You are the one we adore!
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father,
Faithfully loving Your own!
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne.
Oh, we're falling before Your throne.

Quotes to Ponder

"Whenever God acts, he acts in a way that pleases him. God is never constrained to do a thing that he despises. He is never backed into a corner where his only recourse is to do something he hates to do. He does whatever he pleases."