God is a Merciful God
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: Moses informs Israel that their tendency to sin against God will provoke the Lord to anger and bring undesirable consequences upon them. Their evil actions will result in eviction from the Promised Land, an immediate sense of God’s displeasure, and many years of hard service. Although their sinful actions merit God’s righteous judgment, Moses reminds them that God is a merciful God. He will not leave them nor destroy them, nor will He go back on the promises that He has made to them. This singular attribute of God—mercy—is underserved but needed by all.
01. God is merciful to sinners. Although He has the right to judge and the power to destroy, He calls upon all people to turn from their sins and receive His mercy.
02. God is merciful to believers. Although we often sin and suffer the consequences of our sin, He moves our hearts to repentance and grants the desire for obedience.
03. God calls us to be merciful to sinners and believers. Because we have received mercy from God, we must extend mercy to those who sin and have sinned against us.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. In what ways has God shown mercy to you? In what ways have you shown mercy to others? What stipulations are set forth in this text in order to demonstrate true repentance and thus qualify for mercy (verses 29-30).
2. Note how this text includes God’s anger (verse 25) and God’s mercy (verse 31). How do we fall short in our knowledge of God if we exclude anger as an attribute and focus solely on His mercy? How do we fall short in our knowledge of God if we exclude mercy as an attribute and focus solely on His anger?
3. How is God’s holiness displayed in this text? What sins does He warn Israel against committing (verse 25)? Discuss the fact that God promises/threatens Israel with a future of idolatry for committing the sin of idolatry. In what ways does God give us over to our sins in order to highlight the futility of sin?
4. Trace the events of this section as they play out in Israel’s history. Note especially Judges 2:11-23, 2 Kings 17:6-41, and Ezra 1-2. What does the unfolding of this history suggest about human nature? What does the unfolding of this history affirm about God’s character?
5. Consider the generational aspect of the promises and threats of this section in verse 25. In what ways can we pass the faith on to the next generation? What obstacles do we face in communicating God’s ways with the younger generation? What inconsistencies in our own lives do we need to repent from so future generations will know we too need mercy from God?
For Further Reading: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A Merciful and Faithful High Priest (Crossway: 2017)