The Merciful God

By Not Known

To some people, God’s mercy should be shown to everyone without conditions. All should be saved no matter what sin a person has committed. God should be merciful and forgiving all the time. But our God is sovereign and all knowing. He has said, “…I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exodus 33:19b).
Do you think God was merciful to King Belshazzar? How was God’s mercy demonstrated in King Belshazzar’s life? In this text, God showed His mercy through humbling the proud. When Daniel interpreted the writings on the wall, he pointed out to King Belshazzar the reason he had committed such a great sin.   In fact, God’s mercy was already revealed to him through his father’s life-humbling story (Dan 5:18 – 21). King Nebuchadnezzar was arrogant and attributed his success to himself. He was deposed from his royal position for seven years until he humbled himself and gave glory and honour to God. King Belshazzar could have learnt that God was merciful to his father, King Nebuchadnezzar, and he should have honoured God and lived a humble life. Instead of giving God the honour, he became proud. What was his consequence?
King Belshazzar became arrogant and he took God’s holiness for granted. Due to his pride and love of wine, he desecrated the holiness of the sovereign and all powerful God and Creator by using the gold and silver goblets of God’s Temple. He and all his nobles used them as earthly utensils and gave glory to other gods. This action deserved death. Just like the incident where Uzzah reached out to hold the ark when it was about to stumble, God struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:6-8). The outcome of Belshazzar has become history.  
In many parts of the Bible, we read that God has been merciful to His servants and even to the gentiles. God was merciful to Paul in spite of him persecuting His people, God spoke to him and called him to a life of mission.  God is gracious and merciful for saving us all.  We once walked in darkness; through His mercy, He brought us into light to know His wonderful grace.
As we ponder on God’s mercy, pray for ourselves and others who may have hidden pride and arrogance – the times we might have praised ourselves for our achievements and failed to give glory to God for His mercy and provisions.  May we keep ourselves humble and receive everything with gratitude and acknowledge the mercy and grace of God.
“For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” (Deut 4:31)


John Chew