It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Paul makes a radical statement in Romans 9:15: What then shall we say?
Is God unjust? Not at all! For He says to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. After writing that, God chose Jacob over Esau in order that His purpose in election might stand. Paul tells Christians that God is sovereign, and He can show mercy and have compassion on whomever He wishes. Paul is underscoring that God’s mercy is not as we imagine it or as we hope it will be. His mercy is much greater than we can comprehend. The Lord has the “bigger picture” in mind, and His highest form of mercy is seen in His fulfilling His plan and purpose. We cannot always see where God is going, but we can learn to trust His character.
Moses discovered God’s character when he asked God to send His glory to help him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God described His glory to Moses as His goodness in the following passage of Scripture that Exodus 33: I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Paul emphasizes God’s mercy to those who are destined for destruction as He patiently waits for their repentance.
He points to His highest purpose of mercy leaving a remnant to carry that His purposes. (vv.28-29)
I have a gift of mercy. In God’s hands it is a beautiful thing, but in the hands of the enemy it becomes people-pleasing. God’s mercy is strong, truthful, and full of God’s highest purposes. Mercy manipulated by the evil one is masked in seeking approval, which is self-centered rather than God- centered. God’s mercy may be seen in the form of tough love. Man’s mercy may be seen in indulgence.
Heavenly Father, I desire to have Your mercy, motivated by love and truth. Lead me, Holy Spirit, to be merciful God’s way. In Jesus’ name, Amen