Text: Psalm 89:13-14; Amos 4:6-12; Habakkuk 3:2
Though some may explain the present pandemic in scientific terms, yet God’s hand of judgement can be seen in it. The Bible teaches that God allows plagues to judge the nations so as to awaken the attention of men.
In Egypt, he used plagues to judge Pharaoh ( Ex.7-12).
During David’s reign, God sent a plague to Israel when David sinned (2 Sam.24)
In Amos 4:6-12, God used disasters to awaken the attention of Israel.
Isaiah 26:9 states that the purpose of God’s judgement is that man may learn righteousness. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” When God tries to gain the attention of the world without success, he allows painful experiences to happen to us so as to draw our attention.
While God may have allowed painful experiences to occur, It is important to know that, God’s justice and mercy, grace and truth in parallel lines. God is both just and merciful. This is why Habakkuk prayed in chapter 3:2, “in wrath remember mercy.” And James 2:13 states, “Let mercy triumph over judgement.” We need to plead for God’s mercy upon our lives in this time of COVID-19. From the projections of experts, it appears we are not yet out of the woods concerning this pandemic.
“In his justice, God judges us because we are guilty. Then in his mercy and love he comes down in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ, and pays the penalty for us. Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, God is both just and merciful.”
So far, over 40,000 have died in the world as a result of COVID-19. In the US, the number of deaths have exceeded 4,300. It is being projected by experts that over 100,000 may die in the USA alone. The situation may get worse in a country like Nigeria, which does not have the resources to fight the virus. To worsen the matter, a vaccine for the cure of this virus may take up to 6 to 12 months before getting to the victims. This makes it the more imperative that we call upon God’s mercy over this situation. We want to ask God for his mercy. Let this judgement cease. What is mercy?
Millard Erickson wrote,
“God’s mercy is His tenderhearted, loving compassion for His people. It is His tenderness of heart toward the needy. If grace contemplates humans as sinful, guilty and condemned, mercy sees them as miserable and needy.”
TEXTS ON GOD’S MERCY
All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10.
“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face.” Psalm 89:14.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8-9.
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19.
“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) …” Ephesians 2:4-5.
In Habakkuk 3:2 the prophet prayed thus: “I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.” (NLT).
This is our time of greatest need. Our prayers to God for his mercy can make a difference in our situation now.
PASTOR AUSTEN C. UKACHI