Psalm 18:25-26 ESV
“With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.”
Who are the merciful? And, what does it mean to be merciful? According to Bible Hub’s Hebrew Interlinear, the word means “kind, pious, godly, gracious, and holy” (1). And, I believe it is important that all those words describe what it means to be merciful.
For, the word “mercy” can be used in a very humanistic context, or it can be used in a biblical context, and they can have opposite meanings. For, what the world may deem “merciful” might actually go against God and against his word, so it is important that we understand that.
Interestingly, the Greek Interlinear says this: “Usage: full of pity, merciful, compassionate. eleḗmōn – merciful, acting consistently with the revelation of God’s covenant. See 1656 (eleos)” (2). So, in both cases it is described in terms of godliness and holiness and obedience to God.
So, how did God show us mercy? He (Jesus) gave his life (his body) up for us on a cross to die for our sins. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. He died to deliver us from our slavery to sin and to empower us to live holy lives, pleasing to God (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-26).
So, being merciful (kind, compassionate) to others will never contradict God’s Word or his divine character and will for our lives. So, killing anyone is not merciful. Lying to people is never kind. Pacifying people in their sin is also not loving or kind. Compromising with the world to make peace with the world is also not godly or holy nor consistent with God’s covenant.
But, how do we become merciful? Only by faith in Jesus Christ which involves dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. If we do not die with Christ to sin, and if we do not walk in his holiness and righteousness, then we will not be shown mercy. For, we will not have salvation from sin and eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).
The word “blameless” means “complete, integrity, whole, and unblemished.” “Integrity” means honest, honor, reliability, faithfulness, and uprightness. And, “whole” or “sound” means unbroken and undivided in our loyalty to Jesus as our only Lord, unspoiled (untainted by the world), and healthy spiritually (Christ-centered instead of self-centered).
So, how do we become blameless? The same way we become holy and godly. We must believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives. But this means forsaking our former lives of living to sin and to self, being transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and now walking with Jesus in holiness and righteousness (Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
The word “pure” means to cleanse, to purge (eradicate sin), to purify, and choice. It also means to get rid of impurities, to be unadulterated and undefiled by the world, and to be wholesome, genuine, and authentic (real).
When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, he purifies us from all unrighteousness, for he put our sin to death with him on that cross. And, we are crucified with him in death to sin by faith in him. For, He died to deliver us from our sinful lifestyles, and to give us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24).
So, this means we don’t live like the ungodly world does. We don’t engage in all sorts of wickedness or filth or immorality. We don’t allow ourselves to be entertained by lust, lewdness, sexual immorality, lies, adulteries, sexual perversions, theft, murders, lying, and cheating. And, we don’t engage in any of those unlawful activities ourselves.
Psalm 18:27-28 ESV
“For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.”
So, if we choose to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, and we walk according to the Spirit of God, and not according to the flesh, then we will be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26).
This is not of our own doing though. This is not us trying to work our way to heaven. It is merely a true picture of what our salvation looks like. We walk the walk. We don’t just talk it. It is either a reality in our life, or it isn’t. Our actions reveal the truth (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
But, if we choose the way of the flesh rather than the way of the Spirit, we will not have eternal life with God (Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8). We will die in our sins and spend eternity in eternal flames. So, make certain today that you have chosen the narrow (hard) way which leads to life rather than the broad (easy) road which leads to destruction.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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