Jude 1:2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
The Greek word for mercy is ἔλεος/eleos. It is defined as pity or compassion. Mercy is being excused from a deserved punishment or outcome. HELPS Word-studies states it is God’s loyalty to His covenant. The word is used 27 times in the New Testament.
Per Strong’s Concordance, mercy defined: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them;
of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one’s self merciful;
of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ;
the mercy of Christ, whereby at His return to judgment He will bless true Christians with eternal life.
Eleos is defined as “compassion” in some cases. For example…
Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion/mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” -Jesus
These are the words of Jesus in Matthew. He is quoting Hosea 6:6. The issue is one’s mental attitude, focus, and heart towards God. The Lord wants our hearts, not acts of religion.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The first time “mercy” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 19:16. The context is Lot’s family and Sodom and Gomorrah. God’s action towards Lot and his daughters is “merciful”. Notice, Lot and his daughters were spared from the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s wife was extended mercy and she ultimately rejected mercy. Judgment, she became a pillar of salt. It does not matter if one is extended mercy. What are you as an individual going to do with mercy that has been extended to you?
Genesis 19:16 But he 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.
This is the Hebrew word chemlah. It means pity or compassion just as the Greek word ἔλεος/eleos. Chemlah comes from the Hebrew word chamal which means to spare. The word implies we are responsible. Justice demands judgment. If a transgression is noted, punishment is indicated. The wage of sin is death. But, God is merciful.
Chemlah is used one other time in the Old Testament prophet of Isaiah. God is a God of mercy, even in the Old Testament. In the verse below chemlah is translated as pity.
Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
At the time of Isaiah’s writing, the verse above had prophetic implications toward the future work of Jesus Christ. Hindsight being 20/20 in the 21st century, we know this is talking about Jesus.
Afflicted… Who took affliction on behalf of an afflicted people?
…the angel of his presence… literally means “messenger of faces”. This messenger “saved” or yasha in the Hebrew. Yasha means to deliver or save from moral trouble. This is the verb form of the root word. The noun form of the word is “Yeshua”. Jesus is the English translation of Yeshua. Jesus delivers His people. Yeshua yasha…
Mercy is available. There is time now. God is merciful…
Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us…
Compelled to donate? Be a cheerful giver…
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