I was developing a technique with paint, to make three Masonite boards look like real steel. I decided I had to combine two different techniques to get the right look. It was a rush job and I was scurrying. I wasn’t happy with the final pieces. Since I was complaining the whole time in my head, God didn’t really have to do anything nice for me, but His mercy was greater than my grumbling. The client loved the pieces.
I had another experience yesterday when I spent time with a young woman who felt she was being ostracized by her family. She was a stranger to me. I didn’t know her past, didn’t know if I would have deemed this girl “worthy” of my time or mercy. But the Lord directed me to talk to her, listen to her, encourage her and express His love to her. I did it.
The word “mercy” is used 262 times in the KJV and the first time is with Abraham’s nephew Lot. From what we see of Lot in the Bible, he was not a very spiritual man. When Abraham took him to Canaan with him, they stood up on a mountain and looked down at all the land God had given Abraham. Abraham asked Lot which part of that land he would like to have. Instead of deferring to his elder, he immediately chose the greenest, most beautiful part of the land. He chose Sodom and Gomorrah. Not a good choice for him.
Lot wasn’t spiritually strong enough to prevail over the evil that had taken over. The practices in those cities, and the hearts of the people were so confused and perverted that destruction was eminent.
God sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family. Lot happened to be at the gate of the city when the angels came. The news spread fast, that there were two strangers that entered their city gates. The angels took on a human form in this situation.
“The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My Lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.’
“They said, ‘No; we will spend the night in the town square.’ But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
“But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.’ Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, ‘I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly’” (Gen. 19:1-7).
The people in the city of Sodom were so depraved that all of them came hungrily to Lot’s house to get at these two strangers. When it says that they wanted “to know” the two men, it means they wanted to sexually rape them, and it’s translated that way in many versions of the Bible. Can you even imagine a whole city so spiritually and mentally perverted that they all would want to come and see such a thing?!
How could Lot stay in such a place? And he called these men his “brothers.” Other translations say “friends.”
But God obviously had mercy on Lot, and knowing that destruction was coming, He sent two of His angels, looking like men, to get Lot and his family out of there.
“But he [Lot] lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. And as they brought them out, one said, ‘Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.’
“And Lot said unto them, ‘Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
“Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one? —and my life will be saved!’ He said to him, ‘Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there” (Gen. 19: 16-22).
Not only did God have so much mercy on Lot that he let him and his family escape (except for his wife who of her own free will, looked back), but when Lot pleaded with God to be able to go to a smaller city in the valley, God once again had mercy on him and told him he wouldn’t let the destruction come on the city Lot wanted to stay in.
God’s mercy is enormous. I can’t say that I am a naturally merciful person, but Jesus tells us, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). We can be whatever it takes to be a blessing to God’s people and I’m just so glad God was merciful to me with my steel sample and then He used me to show His loving mercy to another one of His children.
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WINGS: JOURNEY WITH JESUS – – THE ENTIRE BOOK – 60 short true stories of walking closer with the Lord in all kinds of situations we face in our present world