Mercy Is Not on Autopilot

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 22:22-23

I have often thought of these verses as meaning, simply, “God won’t take away his mercy.  When you are saved, you will always experience his mercy.  It will not be removed because of your since-coming-to-Christ failings.”

And this is certainly true.  In fact, that’s almost exactly what the first two clauses say verbatim. God’s steadfast love (this calls to mind constancy) “never ceases” and his mercies “never come to an end.”

But we must go further.  It is easy to picture God as being in some sort of legal, contractual, agreement (which he actually is) to offer us mercy since we believed in his son, such that that mercy which was set in motion the day we believed is more or less on autopilot today.  Perhaps there are many times God would even wish to remove his mercy, but because of his grace and his commitment to keeping his oaths, he won’t come back and tamper with what he already set in motion.  Or perhaps he’s just too busy – too busy on the exciting “front lines”, fighting sin, plundering the strong man, and effectually drawing new souls into his kingdom.

However, tucked in these verses is this fact about his mercies: “they are new every morning.” This means that they are different than the ones yesterday in quality and quantity and are being creatively and actively crafted by God for you.  He gives you doses of “not-getting-what-you-deserve”, Christian, at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday morning, personally crafted and engineered, watches you sin at 3:00 P.M., then goes about purposefully and actively drawing up the blueprints on new, differently engineered manifestations of “not-getting-what-you-deserve”.

Truly, we can’t escape it.  “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of my life”, and there will be no autopilot.