Definition Essay on Mercy

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I have read 87% of the required Pentateuch reading with decent comprehension.

Throughout the reading of the Pentateuch, much has been revealed to me about God’s plan and character. Most notable, is his unrelenting and unfailing mercy. In all of the narratives and laws that we have read through, and all the sins done by his people, God was -and is- merciful. Before reading these 5 books, I knew of God’s mercy, but I didn’t understand the true extent of it. According to Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, mercy is “a concept integral to an understanding of God's dealings with humankind”. This alludes to the way God deals with mankind as they sin and sin again and again. He punishes us in a way that is beneficial to us, even after we break his heart time and time again.

In the book of Genesis, God’s mercy is immensely evident, especially in chapter 3 (the fall). In verse 17, the Lord states- “Cursed is the ground because of you,” after Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge as a consequence of their sinful actions. Right after that, though, God “made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Directly following punishment, God showed true mercy on his people and provided them with means of confidence and comfort in their own bodies, even though it was changed from how God had envisioned it originally.

In my own life, God’s mercy has been revealed to me many times. Throughout my life, my family has been through many trials and tribulations; most recently, my dad was sent to a rehab center for three months at the start of my junior year for drug and gambling addictions. During the three months, I felt as if God had betrayed me and my family due to my dad’s sins. Little did I know, he was working his unrelenting mercy within us. After the three months ended, and he came home, I saw how God had done the opposite of betraying us- he had shown his mercy on our family in ways I can’t even describe. His relationship with my mom became stronger than ever before, as well as his relationship with me and my brothers. God used his power of mercy on our family to show us how far our faith really goes. In chapter seven of “God With Us”, this show of mercy is described almost exactly as it happened for me and my family. It states that “even his punishments were tempered by mercy and patience” which is so clearly true, especially in my situation. Even his punishment of removing him from us for three months was done through love and compassion, as it would be good in the future.

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In the book of Exodus, sin, and punishment is the main concept. God’s response with merciful punishment, though, is a main concept as well. Just a few short chapters after the Israelites doubted God’s ability to provide nourishment (chapter 17; water from the rock), he provided them with the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Regardless of their disobeying God’s orders, he shows them mercy through the gift of the

commandments. As I read through this, it was revealed to me that even in the hard times, God showed mercy to his sinful people. Their act of disobedience was reciprocated with punishment, but an act of mercy followed that. It strongly convicted me gave me a sense of trust, and heightened my level of faith in him.

Just two books later, in the book of Numbers, God’s unfailing mercy is once again, concentrated throughout the whole of it. His people constantly betray him, most notably in the story of Balaam. In chapters 22-25, Balaam is named as a “cursor” whose main purpose is to curse others. God, despite the sins of his people, makes it so Balaam can only bless those whom he tries to curse. His mercy is so strongly shown there in my eyes, as he created a literal sense of blessing upon his people even through their rebellion.

Overall, throughout the Pentateuch, it was truly revealed to me how unrelenting God’s mercy really is, how it helps us, and why he uses it. My faith has grown due to it, as well as my trust in him.

    1. “Mercy Definition and Meaning - Bible Dictionary.” Bible Study Tools,
    2. Lennox, Stephen J. God with Us: an Introduction to the Old Testament. Triangle Pub., 2009.
    3. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2005.
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Definition Essay on Mercy. (2024, January 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
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