The Merciful Goodness of God

Michael Beck

“He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” (Proverbs 14:21)

It is easy for the strong to despise the weak; the rich to despise the poor; the wise to despise the foolish; the successful to despise the failures. But, “Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.” (Job 36:5)

There are peculiar temptations we face when we are full and abound, as well as when we are abased and suffer need. To see someone fainting under a load of woe is disturbing. What is easier: blaming them for their condition or having compassion; becoming annoyed with them or praying for them; leaving them to their misery or asking God how we can help alleviate their burden?

Job knew that his friends spoke from a position of strength and security. “He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.” (Job 12:5) They thought they were helping him by revealing to him the hidden causes of his trouble; but they were only pouring salt into his wounds.

Job was convinced that an encounter with God would ultimately strengthen him:

“Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.” (Job 23:3-6)

This must be our hope. That as we wait upon God He will renew our strength. He gives power to the faint. He enables them to run and not be weary, to walk and not be faint.

The issue has less to do with why we’re down, and more to do with whether we’re willing to get up. Don’t expect a helping hand from men. Most cannot bear their own suffering, let alone yours. Don’t expect much pity. Nobody loves a “loser.” Turn to God. He is good and His mercies endure forever. His compassions fail not. He is drawn to the broken in heart. He makes His power perfect in our weakness. He is the Brother, born for our adversity.

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13,14)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.