Rich in Mercy
Nowhere else in the Bible is God described as rich in anything. The only thing he is called rich in is: mercy. What does this mean? It means that God is something other than what we naturally believe him to be. It means the Christian life is a lifelong shedding of tepid thoughts of the goodness of God. In his justice, God is exacting; in his mercy, God is overflowing. “He is rich unto all; that is, he is infinite, overflowing in goodness, he is good to a profuseness, he is good to the pouring forth of riches, he is good to an abundance.”1 Just as the Old Testament doubles up the verb “to have mercy” in Jeremiah 31:20, the New Testament calls God “rich in mercy.”
1 Thomas Goodwin, The Works of Thomas Goodwin, 12 vols. (repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage, 2006), 2:182.
Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020), 172.
Where there is but a mention made by way of supposition, or by way of query, whether God will part with or cast off any of his people or no; you shall find that he throws it away with the highest indignation, his love is so great.… He speaks with the highest detestation that there should be any such thought in God.… He is so possessed with love to his people that he will hear nothing to the contrary.… Yea, his love is so strong that if there be any accusation—if at any time sin or devil come to accuse, it moves God to bless. His love is so violent, it is so set, that he takes occasion to bless so much the more.
Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020), 173–174.
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