I'll never forget praying with Mary Gillam at our weekly pastor's prayer meeting and hearing her pray, "I need mercy, not justice." Mary was one of the most saintly women I have ever met, and if, in her estimation, she needed mercy instead of justice, I couldn't even begin to imagine what it was that I needed! Certainly I need more mercy than she did! What if God was all justice? I talked last August in a post on the characteristics of God (click here to read it), and I mentioned that God is as much mercy as He is justice. He is as much justice as He is love. Just like I am a male and I can't really get rid of my maleness, God is all of these things, and they're just part of who He is. I love in the Psalms of Ascent (the ones for today's reading) that the people plea for mercy. That's really what we need, isn't it? We can't earn our way to God because the gap is so huge between His holiness and our sorry affair. Though God is justice, I don't want that because justice means I spend eternity away from Him. Thankfully God is also mercy, and the sacrifice of His Son, through God's mercy, appeased God's justice. That's what I need: mercy.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.