Psalms 85:7 Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.

8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.


MEMORY VERSE: For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. —James 2:13


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The laws and judgments of God are to be administered with mercy. They are to be accompanied by the love of God and Holy Spirit inspiration. A harsh, unkind, critical law spirit is not the spirit of Christ.



James 2:13 “Judgment”: justice or the divine law. “Mercy”: compassion, pity, tender feelings and regard toward; an unwillingness to mete out punishment and judgment.




The 85th Psalm was no doubt written concerning the return of Israel from the captivity in Babylon. God’s judgment had been sore upon them, for their departure from His ways had been terrible, but it had been mixed with mercy. Mercy is being shown to them in their return to their own land. The judgment of God still stood in that He gave them warnings about not turning to folly again. But mercy and truth are met together in Christ. The truth of man’s wanderings and departure from God and God’s holiness are met together in mercy and loving -kindness. Righteousness and peace have embraced, bringing soul rest to the one who has erred from the way.

The Pharisees brought to Jesus the woman caught in adultery. The way that our Savior handled this clearly reveals how mercy and truth are met and righteousness and peace kiss each other. The truth of her sin was not denied, but mercy instead of condemnation was shown.

Let us always remember that mercy rejoices against judgment. Notice especially the text of scripture in James. “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” If we judge by the law without mercy we shall be thus judged, but if we render judgment by the law of liberty, we shall be judged by the same. What is the law of liberty? It is the law that is based on love alone; the love of God burning in a man’s soul sets him at liberty. This liberty is found in the soul’s willingness to be in bondage to Christ. It is being moved and inspired and strengthened by the grace of God. It is the opposite of the law of sin and death. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” Just the cold letter of the law will fail. But the love of God with the grace of God will inspire man to the highest and most holy plane. A message was preached once in which sinners were pictured as being in the graveyard of sin with the gates shut and locked by the Law, but Mercy came and opened the gates. This is true—mercy does rejoice against judgment.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee




  1. How has the law and mercy been brought together in Christ?
  2. How did mercy and judgment meet together in the case of the woman taken in adultery?
  3. Did Jesus condone the evil that the woman had done?
  4. What is the law of liberty?
  5. What will be our judgment if we show no mercy toward others?
  6. Howdoesmercyrejoiceagainstjudgment? 





It is very easy to put out judgment on others and fail to show the mercy that is needed. It is easy to do this, but it is not so easy to reap that kind of judgment. On the occasion when the Pharisees condemned the disciples for plucking ears of corn on the sabbath day, Jesus made this statement: “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless” (Matthew 12:7). Oh, what depth is in these words! Quoting directly from Hosea 6:6, we see the heart of God reaching out to a lost world: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” A merciful attitude toward our fellow man, and a constant growth in the true knowledge of God will satisfy the great heart of our Creator more than all the law system ever did.

The Jewish nation was caught up in the ceremonial part of the law, having lost sight of the spiritual value and significance therein. The sacrifices and the temple procedures of worship had become a form without life or meaning. Jesus came to bring us the life that we need. One man, after hearing Jesus explain that the greatest commandments to keep were (1) to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and (2) to love our neighbor as ourself, summed it up very well. He said that to do so was “more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Jesus told him that he was not far from the kingdom of God (Mark 12:32-34).

Micah 6:8 says that we are “to love mercy.” Now everyone loves mercy when it is coming his way, but when God really wants us to love mercy is when we must show it to our fellow man. Instead of condemning, we will be seeking to help. Hard feelings, anger, malice, jealousy, and such like are evidences of a lack of mercy. It is very evident that if we show no mercy we will be given no mercy.

The Pharisees were ready to see the woman condemned but were not ready to accept such judgment themselves. If we refuse to have mercy on others now, we will not be able to walk away free at the judgment: we will meet our judgment just as we gave it out. In the gospel of Jesus Christ, judgment is tempered with mercy, giving souls a chance to recover themselves from the error of their way.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee




An elementary school teacher held up a messy, scribbled paper before her class and asked, “What do you think should be done to a student who would hand in such a paper as this?” A little boy sitting at a distance in the classroom hollered, “Whop him! Whop him!” Still holding up the paper, the teacher began slowly walking down the aisle toward where he was sitting. As the teacher drew closer the little boy realized with dismay that the paper was his own! Then, with stammering voice, he replied, “M-m-m-miss _______, I believe I’d just make him stand in the corner!”

How well this describes human nature! How easy it is to feel good about a severe judgment being meted out to the other fellow. But when the same is turned toward us, how do we feel then? We want mercy, don’t we?

But Jesus said, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:2). In the case of the little boy, the teacher decided to go ahead and give him a paddling instead of just make him stand in the corner. His was a lesson well learned!

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell