Obadiah Chapter 1 God of Mercy

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1 Obadiah Chapter 1 God of Mercy Intro.: I have often noticed that God gently reminds me of me, when I complain about the way others treat me. As a matter of fact, God usually brings someone in my life to treat me the way I treat Him and others in my life. God does this because He is a God of mercy, and He wants us to show mercy to others on His behalf. Read: Obadiah 1:1-4 Theme: God pronounces judgment on the Edomites. Edomites: The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the firstborn son of Isaac and the twin brother of Jacob. In the womb, Esau and Jacob struggled together, and God told their mother, Rebekah, that they would become two nations, with the older one serving the younger (Genesis 25:23). As an adult, Esau rashly sold his inheritance to Jacob for a bowl of red soup (Genesis 25:30-34), and he hated his brother afterward. Esau became the father of the Edomites and Jacob became the father of the Israelites, and the two nations continued to struggle through most of their history. Judgment: o The Edomites were arrogant and felt invincible. o They attacked God s people When the Israelites fled from the Babylonians: The Edomites would capture them and turn them over to the Babylonians. They would take some of the spoil for themselves. They had no mercy on their brothers Judgment on this generation: o The humanity is arrogant and feels invincible. o Society attacks God people today. Mercy Defined: Mercy - compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion o Grace is getting what you don t deserve (i.e. salvation) o Mercy is not getting what you deserve (i.e. hell!!!) The Mercy of God: The Mercy of God appears 341 times in the Bible.

2 o "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23). o "The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children" (Psalm 103:17). God s Mercy defined: o The mercy of God has its spring in the Divine goodness of God. The first issue of God s goodness is sovereign generosity, by which He gives liberally to His creatures as creatures; thus has He given being and life to all things. The second issue of God s goodness is His mercy, which denotes the ready inclination of God to relieve the misery of fallen creatures. Thus, "mercy" presupposes sin. The third aspect of God s mercy involves unfailing compassion on humanity. He is full of pity, slow to punish and ready to pardon. Psalm 103:14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. (NLT) Ezekiel 18:23 Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. (NLT) The fourth aspect of God s mercy is that it is His Divine Prerogative: It is pure sovereign grace which alone determines the exercise of Divine mercy. God expressly affirms this fact in Romans 9:15, "For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy." It is not the wretchedness of the creature which causes Him to show mercy, for God is not influenced by things outside of Himself as we are. (Also Romans 9) The fifth aspect is that the mercy of God is never shown to the prejudice of His holiness and righteousness. His mercy does not violate His divine righteousness and holiness by ignoring sin and transgressions. o God s justice on sin is addressed in the Cross of Christ. The sixth aspect is that God delights in showing mercy to His children in Christ. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him" (Ps. 103:11). None can measure it. The elect are designated "vessels of mercy" (Rom. 9:23). It is mercy that quickened them when they were dead in

3 sins (Eph. 2:4,5). It is mercy that saves them (Titus 3:5). It is His abundant mercy which begat them unto an eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1:3). Time would fail us to tell of His preserving, sustaining, pardoning, supplying mercy. Unto His own, God is "the Father of mercies" (2 Cor. 1:3). ( m) God s Greatest Act of Mercy: The Cross of Christ Phil 2:5-11 The 2 nd Person of the God-head took upon Himself human flesh. Kenosis Christ empties Himself He placed His divine prerogatives under the subject of the Father. He Humbled Himself He did not come in pomp and splendor. He died an excruciatingly painful and humiliating death of a criminal. He the Just for us the unjust. As Recipients of God s Mercy we should: Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. o Always be cognizant/aware of our sin debt (i.e. what God has forgiven me for ). He has thrown our sin as far as the East is from the West Psalm 103:12 o Always be aware of our personal unworthiness of God s goodness. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Ephes 2:8 (ESV) We deserve Hell, but Mercy said no. (CeCe Winans) o Always be willing to share God s mercy with others (saved and the unsaved) Unsaved- by sharing the Gospel Saved by sharing forgiveness o Always remember that God s mercy towards us is tied to our mercy towards others. Not in terms of salvation but in terms of blessings, grace, and future rewards. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (James 2:13).

4 God's Mercy and God's Wrath Meet at the Cross August 16, 2012 The cross of Jesus Christ is all about God s holiness. That may seem strange, that a place of blood and suffering and torment would be all about holiness. But the cross answers this question: How can a holy God be reconciled to unholy people? That question demands this one: How can the relationship between a holy God and an unholy people be restored without some gross act of injustice? At the cross we see just how much God values his holiness. We see that God will not violate his own holiness even in order to save the ones he loves. Here at the cross we see wrath and mercy meet. We see both of them in their glorious fullness the ultimate display of God s wrath and the ultimate display of God s mercy. When we look to the cross we see Jesus Christ serving the just sentence of a sinner. There on the cross Christ experiences physical death, so his heart stops beating and his body begins to decay. He also faces spiritual death, spiritual destruction. He is punished by facing the fury of the wrath of God. He is punished consciously for sin done in conscious rebellion against God. He faces an eternal measure of wrath for sins against an eternal being. There on the cross, he faces the justice and the torment of hell. So where is the mercy of the cross? All we see here is Christ experiencing all wrath and no mercy. How can I say that wrath and mercy meet here? Let me explain. Christ has never sinned, so, why would a sinless man be suffering God s wrath? Because he walked into that courtroom, he stood between the judge and the guilty person, and said, I will serve his sentence. He took other people s sin upon himself. He took upon himself sin to such an extent that he became sin. He became vile and detestable in God s eyes the most vile and detestable thing that could ever exist and God poured out the full measure of his wrath upon him. He poured out his wrath upon Christ until that wrath was absorbed and exhausted, until every bit of justice was satisfied. Christ served the complete sentence of just wrath that I deserved. This is the mercy of the cross, the sinless one serving the sentence of the sinner. Now we see that God has a purpose in his mercy; there is a purpose in his patience. 2 Peter 3:9-10 says it so well: The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. God does not wish that any should perish, so he gives time to repent. And now we see why God has been patient in mercy. God has been patient so that Christ s work could be accomplished and so we could reach out by faith and become recipients of that work and there receive full forgiveness and full exoneration.

5 Christ took my sentence upon himself so that I can experience more than patient but temporary mercy. We have seen that mercy is expressed in patience in wrath delayed but now we see that mercy may also be expressed in grace, in wrath substituted, wrath transferred to someone else. No wonder, then, that for all of eternity our minds, our hearts, will be fixated on this Savior, Jesus Christ. In Revelation 15:3-4, we have a glimpse of the great day to come, where a great throng sings before the Lord, rejoicing in the God who is merciful and the God who is just. Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. God s deeds are great and amazing. God is just and true and God s righteous acts culminate in the cross where Christ satisfies the demands of God s justice. This is the wonder of the cross, that here we see the fullest measure of wrath and the fullest measure of mercy at the same time in the same place and all because of the same Savior. At the cross, we see wrath and mercy meet. A chapter later in Revelation we see one of the angels praising God and again extolling God s justice. Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve. And I heard the altar saying, Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments. God is worthy of praise for his patient mercy. God is worthy of praise for his just wrath. Christian, God s history with you is a history of mercy and patience and love. Do you see God s patience with you? You may think back to the days before you were saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and remember sins you committed, sins that justly put you under the wrath of God, sins that shame you now, and you can see that he was patient, not wishing that you should perish, but waiting for you to repent. He did not owe you this mercy of patience, yet he

6 extended it to you, and you did repent, and you did receive his forgiveness for that sin, and the punishment of that sin was fully paid by Jesus Christ. Praise God for this patient mercy! The unbeliever too, has experienced God s patient mercy. He is experiencing it right now. How do I know? Because he is still alive; because God has not yet acted in final judgment toward him. What will happen when God s mercy comes to an end and all that is left is judgment and wrath? Here is our call to evangelism, to take the good news of the gospel of grace to people who day after day continue to presume upon God s mercy. God does not wish for any to perish, to face his wrathful justice. We began this series by asking, Does hell exist? Is it a place of eternal, conscious torment? To ask whether hell exists is to ask if God is truly holy, if he will truly be holy in the face of sin. We find that God will be holy, which means he will be just, which means he will punish sin, which means there is a hell and it is a place of his wrath. It must be. In the narratives of the Old Testament we see display after display of God s patient mercy and occasional displays of his just wrath. But at the cross we see each in its fullness. We see heaven and hell the heaven of mercy and the hell of wrath, the heaven of righteousness, the hell of unrighteousness, the heaven of Christ s gracious substitution, the hell of facing justice without an advocate, without a substitute. If there is no hell, there is no need for a cross. The cross shows us the depth of our sin and the height of God s holiness, the purity of God s wrath and the greatness of God s mercy. The cross assures us that hell exists. The cross demands that we look to the one hanging there and put all our faith, all our hope, all our trust in him. Tim Challies

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