The Rosenbergs were Russian spies who were tried for treason against the United States. During the final sentencing the Judge said, “What the court has given you is what you asked for – justice! What you really want is mercy – but that is something this court has no right to give you.”
David wanted mercy from the Lord, and he received it. At the end of the 23rd Psalm he said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Even though David was a great king, he was also a big sinner. But God was merciful to him and he was extremely grateful. So as he looked to the future (knowing something of the character of 14God), he said with confidence that mercy would follow him all the days of his life.
This word “mercy” is one of the great Old Testament words for everything that God does for His people. It’s the word checed, and means “loving-kindness.” It is translated with such words as mercy, and grace, and benevolence, and love. God is kind and loving to His people. He is merciful to them – always!
Sheep are known for going their own way and getting into all sorts of trouble. But a good and wise shepherd, when correcting them, or rescuing them from some situation of their own making, does it with loving-kindness. The shepherd’s whole purpose is to restore the sheep and help them. In short – he is always merciful. Now that is the way our Shepherd is with us. Because we are saved by His grace and a child of His Kingdom, His response toward us (even with correcting us) is with loving-kindness.
As Psalm 100 says, “His mercy is everlasting.” He is never wrathful and judgmental toward His own people. Because our sins are forgiven in Christ, He always acts with our best interest in mind.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
Hey – You may not receive mercy from the court, but you are certain to receive it from God. If you’re His sheep – count on it!