- Today’s teaching will be part nine of a series I’ve titled; “The Mercy of God Almighty.”
- In verses twenty-five and twenty-six we were able to answer the question of whether or not God loves some people more than others.
- Here in verses twenty-seven through twenty-nine, we’ll take it a step further with the question of, is there a limit to God’s love and mercy.
1. Is there a limit to God’s love and mercy (Verses 27-29)
(27) Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. (28) For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." (29) It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."
-v27 Paul quotes Isaiah concerning Israel saying though their number be like the sand by the sea, it will only be the remnant that is saved.
-v28 He goes on to explain, though arguably very sobering, how that the Lord will carry out His sentence on earth with speed and finality.
-v29 Quoting Isaiah again he says unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants we would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah.
- This is yet another one of those place in scripture where I like to inquire of the Lord why it is that He would inspire the writer to write this.
- Like in the previous verses where Paul quotes Hosea, so too do we have a similar situation where he also quotes the prophet Isaiah.
- So again the question is why does Paul quote these Old Testament prophets in arguing his case concerning the Jews Gentiles and church.
- Here’s what I’m thinking, Paul quotes Isaiah here because he’s about to demonstrate how God in His mercy would even save a remnant.
FF Bruce - “But if only a remnant will survive, at least a remnant will survive, and constitute the hope of restoration.”
As one commentator said; “This quotation from Isaiah 1:9 shows that as bad as Judah’s state was because of their sin, it could have been worse. It was only by the mercy of God that they survived at all.”
- It’s not so much “that,” God in His mercy would save a remnant, it’s really more of matter of “how” God in His mercy would save a remnant.
- The reason I say that is because God will go outside the scope of saving a Jewish remnant and save a Gentile remnant with them as well.
- By that I mean, God goes outside the proverbial box, and in His love and mercy created what would become the church of Jesus Christ.
Another commentator said it best this way; “He saved a seed, a remnant, a group that has been preserved both historically and spiritually." Not only that, He brought this seed into the church, along with others who were not His people—Gentiles like you and me. You see, in God's economy, there are three groups of people: the Jew, the Gentile, and the church. The church is made up of Jews and Gentiles chosen by God to make up a brand-new entity.”
Borrowing an outstanding chart from one commentator pictured here you’ll see it not only beautifully illustrates it, but it brilliantly demonstrates it. He says of this chart; “The [mercy] of God is not just getting smaller and smaller; it does actually increase all the more. …Some of Ishmael’s descendant, some of Esau’s descendants, some even of Pharaoh’s descendants, some from all over the world, are brought in to the people of God.”
- Having laid that foundation, we’re once again ready to answer the question that remains on the table as it relates to God’s love and mercy.
- More specifically, as to whether or not there is a limit to how much God loves us, and or a limit to how much of His mercy He will show us.
- I suppose it goes without saying but the love and mercy of God are unlimited, and so too are the love and mercy of God unconditional.
- Perhaps you’ll indulge me for just a moment as I bring today’s sermon in for a landing on a different runway that what we usually do.
- I want to do a couple of puzzles. Let me hasten to say, lest you think I’ve lost my marbles, both of these puzzles should seal the deal.
- What I mean by that is, this exercise should once and for all settle the matter of God’s love and mercy being the same for every one of us.
- If you’ve seen this first one, please don’t give the answer to the person sitting next to you. If you do, we’ll excommunicate you immediately.
- How many squares can you count in this graphic? The only hint I’ll give you is that there are going to be more than what you actually think.
- For this next one, draw nine dots arranged in rows of three in the shape of a box as they are in this illustration that is pictured here.
- Now connect all nine dots in this box using only four straight lines without lifting your pencil from the paper.
. . .
. . .
. . .
- The point is, it’s only when we go outside the “proverbial box,” with “bigger” lines that we’re able to accomplish it and connect all nine of the dots.
- So, what’s my point? My point is that God will do exceedingly above and beyond anything that we could ever think or imagine let alone ask.
- God’s love and mercy is more than we could ever comprehend or even fathom in the finite. God’s love is infinite, and it is incomprehensible.