Thursday, April 12, 2012
A God who is full of compassion
...[M]ercy is an essential attribute of God. We must never think that our Lord Jesus died to make God merciful; on the contrary, the death of the Lord Jesus is the result of the mercy of God. When man sinned God was willing enough to pardon him, for the death of a sinner is no pleasure to him. Judgment is his strange work. The way in which the came to Adam at the first showed his mercy. He came, if you remember, in the cool of the day, — not at the instant the crime was committed. God is not in a hurry to accuse man, or to execute vengeance upon him; he therefore waited until the cool of the day. He did not address rebellious man in the language of indignation, but he kindly said, “Adam, where art thou?” And when he had questioned the guilty pair, and convicted them, and the sentence was passed, it was terrible certainly, but oh how mildly tempered; the curse was as much as possible made to fall obliquely: “cursed is the ground for thy sake.” Though the woman was made to feel great sorrows, yet those were connected with a happy event which causes the travail to be forgotten.
There was tenderness in the dread utterances of an offended God, and mainly so because almost as soon as he declared that man must labor and die he promised that the “seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.” Assuredly the Lord our God is by nature very pitiful and full of compassion.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A God Ready To Pardon," delivered January 9, 1876. Image by o palsson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.