The fifth blessed attitude is in Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” In the Bible, the word “mercy” means “unconditional love” and “loving-kindness.” When David writes in Psalm 23:6 that the mercy of God will follow him all the days of his life, the word “follow” really means “pursue.” David is sure of it: God is chasing after him with love.
The first verse of the prophecy of Malachi is: “The word of the Lord through Malachi: ‘I love you says the Lord!’” The entire message of the prophet Hosea is the unconditional love of God. 1 John 4:16 tells us we can count on the love of God because God is love. The mercy of God keeps us from the judgment our sins deserve, and the grace of God lavishes on us all kinds of blessings we do not deserve.
“Mercy” is found 366 times in the Bible, maybe because God knew we would need it every day, even during leap years! Two hundred and eighty of those references are found in the Old Testament. Jesus showed us a complete picture of love on the Cross, but God has always been a God of unconditional love.
Receiving God’s mercy is a wonderful promise, but here is the main point of this beatitude: we must become channels of God’s unconditional love to people who need to be loved unconditionally. A good paraphrase of this beatitude might be, “You are blessed if you are filled with the love of God so you can pour it out on others.”
If we are going to go down from the mountaintop and be part of Christ’s solution to those who hurt, we must be filled with the unconditional love of God. If we are self-righteous like the Pharisees, we won’t have mercy to give away. Amy Carmichael wrote, “If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cup, brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted.” How full are you with God’s love? Does it pour out of you, especially when you’re bumped? To be a pipeline of God’s righteousness and love, we need to be connected to the source: Jesus Christ.
Would others describe you as “merciful”? How can you be more merciful?
Please take this moment to pray, thanking God for His mercy on you. Ask Him to show you opportunities to show His mercy to others.
This post is adapted from a lesson of the Mini Bible College, an online study of the whole Bible. We highly recommend their audio resources and written materials, available in many languages, to anyone who wants a stronger understanding of the Bible.