The mercy of God, just like the grace of God, is multifaceted. Before we go any further, we will look at the dictionary meaning of mercy and the biblical usage of the same word mercy.
1) compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.
2) an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.
3) something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing
1) goodness, kindness, faithfulness
2) to be gracious, show favour, pity
3) mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted or seeking aid, joined with a desire to help them
a) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one’s self merciful
b) of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ
c) the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life
As we have seen from the definitions and biblical usage of the word mercy, another word linked to it is compassion. This is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
God introduced Himself to Moses and the Israelites as a God of mercy when giving Moses the Ten Commandment (Exodus 20:5-6; Exo. 34:7).
Part of God’s nature and character is showing mercy. He exemplified this when He gave Moses the instruction on how to make The Ark of The Covenant (Exo. 25:17-21). The Ten Commandment and all the other statutes and precepts God gave the Israelites in the wilderness, is referred to as the Testimony (vs 21). These were to be placed inside the Ark while The Mercy Seat was placed above the Testimony. This signifies that God has placed His mercy over judgement. If any one appeals to His mercy, which is by faith in Jesus Christ, such a person is such to obtain God’s mercy.
The meaning of the word mercy, as seen in various places in the Bible, depends on the context in which it used. Now, God’s mercy is available to those who love Him and keep His commandment up to a thousand generations (Deut. 7:9). This speaks of the compassion and kindness God extends to those who obey Him and to their children and children’s children unto a thousand generations.