THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
TRUE MERCY - 2
2 Samuel 11:1-17
What King David did was evil. He committed adultery and murder
(2 Sm 11:4,15-17). He was lustful (2 Sm 11:2), abusive of
his authority, deceptive and scheming (2 Sm 11:6-8,13,15),
disloyal to his loyal soldiers. Yet when he asked God for
mercy and repented of his sins, he was forgiven.
is merciful. David looked hopefully to that. “Have mercy
on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant
compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Ps 51:3). He
looked to cleansing, healing and restoration. “Thoroughly
wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.” (Ps
here it is. David repented. True repentance means a number
First, he recognized his sin. “For I know my transgressions;
my sin is always before me.” (Ps 51:5).
Second, he recognized the gravity of transgressing God’s
law. “Against you, you alone have I sinned; I have
done what is evil in your eyes” (Ps 51:6a).
he knows the righteousness and justice of God, that he stood
rightly condemned. “So that you are just in your word,
and without reproach in your judgment.” (Ps 51:6b).
he acknowledged the weakness of his flesh, the fallen human
nature prone to sin, due to original sin. “Behold,
I was born in guilt, in sin my mother conceived me.”
he recognized that God wants sincere repentance, true repentance.
“Behold, you desire true sincerity” (Ps 51:8a).
he knows that God does not just insist on repenting just
like that, but wants him to really know what he has done,
how he has sinned, so that he can be helped to avoid such
sin in the future. The world might say this or that is OK,
but God shows the truth to the one who sincerely repents.
“And secretly you teach me wisdom.” (Ps 51:8b).
he desires not only to be forgiven, but to no longer sin
and in fact to grow in holiness. “Cleanse me with
hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, and I will be whiter
than snow.” (Ps 51:9).
While God’s mercy is always available to us, it is true
repentance that allows us to experience the fullness of God’s
mercy. And true mercy is an invitation to repentance. It is
unlike the false mercy that is being peddled today even within
our Church, where we do not speak about the person’s
sin so as not to offend him, where we accommodate and accompany
the sinner without trying to get him to go down the right
path rather than continuing on the wrong one.
mercy is the antithesis of true mercy. Looking at parallels
to the seven points above, false mercy (1) does not recognize
the sin, or if it is recognized, avoids speaking of it as
sin, (2) does not look to the immutable laws of God but says
that such can change depending on changing social values,
(3) says that because of the mercy of God, one can be saved,
even as he persists in his sin, (4) does not really consider
sin and the inherent weakness of the flesh, and in fact condones
and tolerates such sin, (5) does not require repentance or
turning away from one’s sin, (6) does not really look
to a person changing for the better, to know what is truly
good and right and just, and (7) allows and abets the sinner’s
persistence in his sin.
when we have true repentance can we confidently come before
God and claim His mercy. “Turn away your face from my
sins; blot out all my iniquities.” (Ps 51:11). Only
with true repentance can we be brought back to God, to experience
the fullness of His love. Only then can we be lifted up from
the mire. Only then can we be restored and renewed. Only then
can we return to a life of joy. “You will let me hear
gladness and joy; the bones you have crushed will rejoice.”