Justice and mercy


"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Good old Biblical justice; sounds a bit hard, but it is reasonable. Murder someone and you lose your own life. Work over the trains with a spray can and you have to clean it off. Biblical justice was simple and straightforward. The punishment would always fit the crime. Naturally the circumstances and motive had to be considered, but in the end, hurt had to be paid for. For example, property accidentally destroyed was to be replaced, while property stolen was not only to be replaced by the thief, but compensation paid at four times the value of the stolen goods. If the thief couldn't pay, then he had to work for the person he stole from for free until he had cleared his debt. Honestly! why we give petty criminals extended holidays at the taxpayers expense while leaving their victims out of pocket, I'll never know.

So that's the Bible's view of justice, but what about mercy? Well, mercy is by no means the soppy, "this is the twentieth time you have come before the courts; if you get into trouble again I may have to put you in jail." It is undeserved kindness, goodness, favor and compassion, extended toward the needy, helpless and distressed. Mercy is particularly extended toward those who have no claim to such favorable treatment. Mercy, is undeserved consideration extended toward the miserable.

Jesus said, be "merciful, as your Father in Heaven is merciful"; "Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy". God is merciful, and for Him to deal with people like us He certainly needs to be. We continually ignore Him, either actively or passively, yet He refrains from giving us our just dues. He certainly hasn't ignored our rebellion, in fact it cost Jesus his life, so God's heartfelt compassion toward the human race is anything but a free ride.

So then, what does God require of us? "To love mercy and walk humbly with Him".


[Pumpkin Cottage]