Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. (Also Matthew 9:13.)

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

17a But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him.

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.

11:17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

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


MEMORY VERSE: Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually. —Hosea 12:6


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The truly happy person, and the one God blesses, is one who is a lover of mercy, values the mercy God has shown him, seeks to show mercy to every person, and keeps a merciful spirit and attitude at all times and to every creature.




Matthew 5:7 “Merciful”: full of pity and actively compassionate. “The merciful are those who, through brotherly love, account another person’s misery their own; who weep over the calamities of others; who, out of their own property, feed the hungry and clothe the naked; who admonish those that are in error, inform the ignorant, pardon the offending; and who, in short, use their utmost endeavours to relieve and comfort others” (Erasmus).

Matthew 12:7 “I will have mercy and not sacrifice”: A quote from Hosea 6:6 meaning, “I am more pleased with acts of benevolence and kindness than with a mere external compliance with the duties of religion” (Barnes Notes on the Bible). Jesus didn’t oppose sacrifices or do away with God’s law, but when a rite became more important than doing good to someone, it was actually an abuse to God’s law, not an obedience.

Micah 7:18 “A God”: literally, a mighty God. “Passeth by the transgression”: pass over iniquities, or forgive. “A form of speech used amongst us when we promise not to pursue an offence, or not to exact the punishment of it, or as if we either saw it not, or voluntarily winked at it, being resolved that we would not make it a cause of quarrel or
breach” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary).

Proverbs 3:3 “Mercy”: favor, kindness, love. “Bind them about thy neck: write them upon the table of thine heart”: outward exhibition and inward possession. Mercy and truth are ornaments of character. The “table” meant the heart as a writing tablet, where God inscribes His truth, to be copied into the character.

James 2:13: “Judgment without mercy”: a principle repeated in Proverbs 21:13 and II Samuel 22:26-27, that a person will be judged by pure justice without a mixture of mercy; the converse to Matthew 5:7. “Mercy rejoiceth against judgment”: mercy is superior to judgment; mercy triumphs over judgment.




Truly, the background of a lesson on mercy is the whole history of God’s merciful dealings with the Jews, a stiff-necked, hard-hearted, backsliding, and unbelieving people. Throughout God’s law are commands as to the merciful treatment of others. Notable acts of God’s mercy are in every book of the Bible.

To get a proper idea of the standard to which we should attain in being merciful, we chose verses to remind us of the length, breadth, width, and height of God’s mercy on the Israelites, the Gentiles, and on us today. His mercy is everlasting. It’s higher than the measureless span between earth and sky. It forgives and pardons and forgets.

The verses in Proverbs remind us to not just display mercy on the outside, but embed it in our very heart, mind and nature. We should breathe it out of us. We are also reminded here and in James that cruelty, the opposite of mercy, will come right back and bite us if we allow it in our lives.

The memory verse tells us to turn to God (when we are in need), keep mercy (toward those who are needy of our forgiveness and acts of compassion), and wait on Him—lean on Him, attend unto Him, look to Him to supply. He truly is the source of all mercy.

–Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. Don’t Forget: What guarantee has God placed on being merciful?
  1. Greater Than: What does God desire more than “religious” duties or rituals?
  2. Just Like Our Father: List examples in Scripture that show us HOW God is merciful. What is the measure of His mercy?
  3. His Heart Revealed: What does God delight in?
  4. Same As: What is the true gauge of the mercy or judgment that will be given us, both now, from others in this life, and from God at the final judgment? 



We spoke in an earlier lesson of the worldly fullness that makes us proud in our own selves and scornful of others. Therein is the root of all unmercifulness. We don’t recognize the dire need we had of mercy so we don’t know how to show it to others. We can live in our own little bubble of prosperity and be totally clueless to the hurt and pain around us. We don’t do deeds of compassion because we don’t see the need. We can speak words that inflict pain and anger and not even know it.

Just the introduction of this thought, “As your Father is merciful,” should send us scurrying back to the first Beatitudes, and to repeat the steps again: Be humble; recognize your own need. Mourn and weep over it. Meekly acquiesce to God’s will and way and to the hurts from others. Ardently desire and earnestly seek for true righteousness. The capability to show mercy can only come after we have thus prepared our hearts.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




“If the Lord is merciful, gracious, tender, kind, etc., toward us, it is that we may be merciful, gracious, tender and kind to others. We must be merciful and tender to our companions and children. We must be merciful to each other as brothers and sisters, and especially should the ministers of the gospel be men and women of ‘tender mercy.’ Oh, how we fail to hold up Christ to this world when we get our hearts set on the judgment side of the gospel to the exclusion of mercy, and pour out the Word only from a legal standpoint. The real judgments must be rendered without compromise; but in mercy. I feel sure that there are dear souls who are themselves groping in awful darkness, simply because they are not merciful to others. If a person shows judgment without mercy, he will surely receive judgment without mercy, and get to a place where he realizes that he is an object of great mercy before he can get clear.

“One night one of my little children accidentally got into trouble. It told its mother and me at once. It was only an accident and I should have comforted the child and encouraged it to be more careful next time, but I did not. I rather chided or upbraided the child, which only added grief to the trouble, and the child went off to bed sobbing until it fell asleep with a very sad heart. I did not begin to feel any sting of conscience just then, or at least not much. The next day I started for a point about three hundred miles distant. I stopped over in a large city where an incident occurred which placed me in a position with God similar to that in which the child had been with me. Distress and sorrow began to get hold of my soul. Oh how Satan did harass my soul! The dear Lord seemed to say so gently to my soul, ‘Have I not dealt with you as you did with your child? Did you not withhold comfort when it was within your power to give it? Why will you seek my smiles and not grant them to your child?’ And at this James 2:13 flashed into my soul with new meaning to me, also ‘Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.’ I humbled my heart all I could before God, and I wrote to my child and all the family that knew I had not borne my child’s troubles and asked their forgiveness.”

“The dear Lord came to my rescue in the right time, and now I thank God for the chastening, realizing that we are all made of the same clay, and are objects of mercy. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies …’ (read Colossians 3:12-14).”

—From The Gospel Trumpet, December 20, 1906, page 4, article Mercy, by J. L. Green

—Edited and abridged by Bro. Harlan Sorrell