“They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:7-9)
“But, Mrs. Kedo, I promise!” Sam was feeling a little nervous, now. “My dog really did eat my homework!”
“That’s the same excuse you gave me the last three times, Samuel.”
Mrs. Kedo stood up from her desk and picked up the chalkboard eraser. (For a split second, Sam wondered whether she was going thump him with it.) “Your dog must be a very hungry dog, indeed,” she said. Turning her back to Sam, she began erasing the chalkboard.
Sam just watched her for a moment and thought about it. Mrs. Kedo might be a little too strict. She might be a little too skinny. She might even be a little too tall. But one thing Mrs. Kedo isn’t – she isn’t dumb.
She kept on erasing the board. “Yes, Samuel?”
“My dog didn’t eat my homework.”
“No?” Mrs. Kedo turned around and set the eraser on her desk. “Well, Samuel. Then I have one question: If your dog didn’t eat your homework, who did?”
“Uh…nobody ate it, Mrs. Kedo. I just didn’t want to do it.”
“You told me a lie.”
“Yes, ma’am. I told you a lie. I’m really sorry. Will you forgive me?”
“Samuel, do you know what the school’s policy is for little boys who lie to their teachers?”
“I don’t know.” Sam was beginning to wish he had done his homework.
“I believe that the punishment for lying is expulsion, Samuel. ‘Expulsion’ means you should be expelled – kicked out of school.”
“Oh, no.” Sam was really sorry now.
“Couldn’t you just – thump me with that eraser instead?”
Mrs. Kedo laughed. “Well, I had thought about that,” she said. “But what do you deserve for lying?”
Mrs. Kedo sat down suddenly and put her head in her hands. Sam felt even worse, then. What if she was crying?
When she uncovered her face, it was all red, but she did not seem to be crying anymore. “Samuel, I’ve decided to forgive you. And I am not going to punish you with expulsion.” She smiled. “Or explosion!”
“Not this time. If you ever lie to me again, I do not want to say which of those words will happen to you.”
Sam nodded his head. “OK, Mrs. Kedo. OK. I promise. Thanks, Mrs. Kedo! Here, let me finish that for you.” He grabbed the eraser off her desk and went up to the chalkboard.
“Erase quickly, Samuel,” she said. “You do have a great deal of un-eaten homework to turn in to me tomorrow morning.”
Psalm 145 talks about the LORD’s mercy. Mercy is what Mrs. Kedo decided to show to Sam. Mercy is the holding back of deserved punishment. Even though we cannot earn mercy, the LORD has the authority to show mercy to us. We sin often, and we all deserve punishment for our sins. For sinners, the LORD’s mercy is our only hope of escaping punishment. We are always having to count on the LORD’s mercy.
How about you? Can you think of ways God has shown mercy to you? He is the greatest Authority in our lives, because He created us. But because He created us, and because of Jesus Christ’s Gospel, God can also choose to show us mercy instead of punishment. We never could earn mercy, but we can rejoice in it!
The LORD is a merciful God!
» What are some ways that God has shown me His mercy?
» In my daily life, how can I show my faith in God’s mercy?