Focal passages: Romans 11:17-32
If you have lived in the South very long, you have undoubtedly heard someone use the phrase, “Lord, have mercy.”
The Southern take on this phrase is one that communicates disbelief, exasperation with a situation and a plea for extra patience. Next to “bless your heart” it may be the most Southern of misapplied phrases.
“Lord have mercy” in the context of Paul’s teaching in Romans 11 carries a completely different connotation.
It is one that we should pause and remind ourselves of regularly.
You see, long ago Israel’s disbelief made them an enemy of God, the same as us when we walked in disbelief. Yet God in His rich mercy and grace offers us inclusion through the gospel.
Salvation, being fully dependent on God is a sobering call to humility.
Paul reminds us that although Israel was cut off by God, the offer of mercy is still available to them through His Son Jesus, just like us.
God in His timing will demonstrate His grace to Israel with the same offer of salvation that we received.
While God will not save all people, those who come to Him through the work of Jesus will be recipients of His mercy.
Praise God that the gospel continues to be offered to all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
This should make our own cry of “Lord, have mercy” one that rests in belief, assurance, and confidence that He still saves.