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Tuesday, March 3 2015
Psalm 101: What Does Mercy Really Mean?
"A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing"
The English-language word "mercy" originated from a Latin word, mercedis, that had a more complex meaning than the present definition of simply ignoring something that was done as though it never happened. The original word meant to take all things into account - the reason that the words mercantile, merchant and market all originated from the same word as mercy. "Mercy" was granted to those who, on balance, did more good than bad.
As is very often the case, the single English-language word "mercy" is used to translate more than one original Hebrew word of the Holy Scriptures.
Note that in both of those words, "mercy" involves, not ignoring things done wrong, but placing value on what is done right. It does not mean forgiving those who refuse to repent (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners) or who use the Messiah's Name for the religion that they have created for themselves (see Will Jesus Christ Obey Your Christian Religion?).
The Messiah's famous "beatitudes" was a lesson in mercy. Note carefully that in every statement there is more good than bad - in action and in attitude e.g. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" and "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
"5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The apostle Paul was first known to Bible history as the Pharisee Saul - a Christian persecutor (see Paul's Blindness Lesson). But the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God) brought about his conversion and forgave him because Paul thereafter lived a life worthy of forgiveness. Then also, as always happens, when someone turns to the LORD, Satan does everything that he can to obstruct righteousness and facilitate sinful behavior (see also How Does Satan Impersonate Jesus Christ?).
By his own admission, Paul did not become "perfect" after his conversion, but the LORD had true mercy upon him because "I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."
"7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
"101:1 A Psalm of David.
Fact Finder: What and where is the Christian "Mercy Seat"?
This Day In History, March 3
1575: Mughal Emperor Akbar of India defeated the Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.
1847: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1857: Britain and France declared war on China to begin the Second Opium War.
1861: Serfdom was abolished in Russia by Czar Alexander II.
1875: The first organized hockey game was played, in Montreal, Canada.
1878: The peace treaty at San Stefano was signed, ending the Russo-Turkish War and gaining independence for Serbia.
1904: Kaiser (the German form of "Caesar") Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison's phonograph cylinder.
1905: Czar Nicholas II of Russia created an elected representative assembly, known as the Duma.
1913: Thousands of women marched in Washington, D.C. demanding the right of women to vote in the land "where all men are created equal."
1918: Germany and its allies signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia, ending hostilities between them in the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1919: The first international air mail was flown from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington.
1919: The world's financial cost for the First World War was estimated to be about $197 billion.
1921: Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best of Toronto announced the discovery of insulin.
1924: 5 months after Turkey was made a republic on October 29 1923, the Grand National Assembly abolished the caliphate of the Ottoman empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1938: Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.
1966: John Lennon set off an international protest when he was quoted in the London Evening Standard as saying that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus Christ."
1991: Latvia and Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.
2002: The people of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of becoming a member of the United Nations.