By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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We Need Mercy

The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" —Matthew 20:31

Have you ever heard of David Brainerd? Had David Brainerd lived, he would have become Jonathan Edwards's son-in-law. He was an unusual man; he was a missionary to the Indians in the state of New York and became almost a model for missionaries. After Brainerd died, Edwards published his journal, and that journal is said to have been responsible for putting more people on the mission field than any other piece of literature.

Once David Brainerd had a quarrel with God. The more he discovered about God, the angrier he got. Brainerd saw four things about God as he read the Bible, and they all made him mad at God. The first thing he saw was that God demanded a perfect righteousness, and he knew he didn't have it. It meant that he would have to have a substitute, and he kept thinking that he could do it alone, until he saw he couldn't produce the righteousness that God required.

The second thing David Brainerd saw was that God demanded perfect faith, and once again he knew he couldn't produce it. He would try to believe perfectly, but he'd find himself doubting. And he became frustrated and got angry with God. The third thing he found out was that God could give faith or withhold it and be just either way, and the fourth thing he discovered was that God could save him or damn him and be just either way. At last he saw that he needed God's mercy. Rather than being angry with God, thinking that he could snap his finger and God would jump, he began to cry out for mercy—and God saved him.

Seeing the God of the Bible makes us realize that we don't have bargaining power. We have no leverage. We have no claim that we could make. We come before God and ask for mercy.

Excerpted from The God of the Bible (Authentic Media, 2002).

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