THE DEATH ANGEL AND MERCY
For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” Romans 9:15
When a Jewish household put blood on the doorposts of their homes, the death angel passed over. Their first-born sons were saved. Why were they saved? Many Jews believed it was for the wrong reasons. Some concluded that they were saved because they were Jews and therefore deserving. Others believed that God was rewarding them for the suffering they had endured. I’m sure there were still others who thought they were better, more moral, than heathen Egyptians.
None of these were true. They weren’t true for the Jews in Egypt. They aren’t true where we are concerned. God simply has mercy on people who are undeserving. Why He chooses some and not others is a spiritual mystery.
Where I can get trapped is when I begin the argument, “If God were just, he would choose everyone, right?” What I need to understand is that this is not a justice issue. If God had acted justly, we would all be condemned to hell. This is a mercy issue.
For reasons we may never know, He reached out in mercy to one group of people, the elect, when they deserved condemnation. Their lineage and their belief that they were morally superior to others played no part in their salvation.
The whole human race deserves hell. God chose to elect some of us and grace us with the spiritual understanding necessary to believe. He did not grant this mercy to others. Do I have enough faith in holy character of God to believe this and not stumble?
When my belief is dependent on adequate spiritual understanding, I have nullified the need for faith. Really, I shouldn’t be tripped up by why God doesn’t elect everyone. I should be focused on why He elected me; one who deserved to die. Trust, gratitude, and faith toward a God who acts in ways that defy human explanation should be my heartfelt responses to concepts like election. I’m working on it.
Lord, this concept is as vast as Your mind. How can I grasp but one grain of sand in the ocean of truth? I search for understanding because I love You – not because I distrust Your wisdom. Amen