I will never forget the moment we were sitting in a pastor's prayer meeting one Tuesday afternoon, and Mary Gillam, one of the most Godly women I've ever met, pleaded with God to give her mercy rather than justice. I thought to myself: if she needs mercy, then I need something even greater than that! Maybe one day I will come close to the level of godliness she displayed during her lifetime! Jeremiah pleads a similar case in 10:24 when he begs God to judge him with justice and not with anger. He had a proper understanding of God's anger and wrath and was therefore fearful of what God could do. Jeremiah asked God for justice in the judicial sense. If he faced God's anger, Jeremiah would be utterly destroyed. By appealing to God's justice, Jeremiah was covered by sacrifices made at the altar (the ultimate sacrifice for us was later given by Christ himself), in which case he would receive God's mercy. Even more than justice, we need, as Mary Gillam prayed that day, 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.