Approximately forty times in the Old Testament scriptures the expression, “His mercy endureth forever,” is used. This is somewhat remarkable when we consider that God’s manifold displays of judgment in these same scriptures make Him appear to be something less than merciful. How can the Old Testament picture of God as often wrathful and prone to judgment be reconciled with this declaration about His mercy? Is judgment merciful after all? These questions are just a part of the problem many believers have in trying to understand God in all His working.
In previous articles I have suggested that God’s judgment served a long range purpose and was never the final word of God in relation to the objects of His judgment. I believe that the long range purpose was to demonstrate the futility of a legal approach to gaining God’s favor and to establish a marked contrast between what God could have done about sin, namely bring final judgment, and what His ultimate solution actually was- Mercy which endures forever.
The message of enduring mercy is clear. Judgment cannot be the final answer to sin because mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13 ASV).