He Will HaveMercy Is. 55:6-7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The Lord is a Merciful God; he will have mercy. In this text we see His mercy at work through the whole process of a fellow returning to the Lord. The Lord grants him mercy to:
Seek the Lord – you are not going to find God by searching for him [Job 11:7] – the Lord has to reveal himself to you [Lk 10:21-23] – it is like a game of hide and “seek” where the Lord lays out clues that draw you to him [Jn 6:44] – and then when the Lord “may be found” [like the Lord sets up the perfect circumstances for you to look his way] you find him – consider the Ethiopian eunuch; he found the Lord – you can get so far off track that you would expect the Lord to just write you off, but he doesn’t – in his mercy he keeps trying to get you to seek him.
Call upon the Lord – the Lord reveals himself to you so that you will call upon him – he wants you to be saved – it is not enough to hear the gospel; you need to respond to the gospel – can you imagine the mercy of God in the case of Paul – the Lord waited until Paul was on the road to Damascus and until his conscience had been thoroughly pricked by the death of Stephen – and then he drew “near” to Paul – and rather than kill him on the spot, he allowed Paul to call upon him saying, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” And not only did the Lord save him in his mercy but he called him to be the apostle to the Gentiles!!!
Forsake his way – we’re talking about the “wicked” here – the Lord knows the depth of our wickedness and yet through his mercy he gives us the opportunity to forsake our wickedness and turn to him – and notice that he doesn’t expect you to clean up before you call upon him – he lets you wait until after he has saved you to turn away from the terrible life you have been living – nevertheless, he does want you to forsake your wickedness [the prodigal son left the pig pen and came to his father] – with the Lord’s mercy, he gives you the strength and the power to quit your sin [1 Cor 10:13].
Forsake his thoughts – often men will get saved and they’ll get rid of some of their wickedness immediately – but their thought life will continue on in sin just like nothing ever happened [like an “unrighteous man”] – and though a man can commit sin in his life just by thinking [he doesn’t have to do what he is thinking about to have sinned (Matt 5:22, 28)] the Lord mercifully gives him space to get his thought life straightened out – and thankfully the Lord, in his mercy, gives us the spiritual weapons necessary to forsake our wicked thought lives [2 Cor 10:4-5].
Return to the Lord – this part of the verse says, “return unto the Lord” not “turn unto the Lord” – the reason is that as a child you are safe in the Lord; if you die before sin is imputed to you then you go to heaven [Mk 10:14] – but once sin is imputed to you, you are no longer safe; you are lost – you must return to the Lord by calling upon him to be saved [Rom 10:13] – but notice also that a saved man can walk in his wicked way and be consumed with his unrighteous thoughts – in his case, he also needs to return unto the Lord – and mercifully, the Lord gives him space to repent.
Conclusion: And when a man, in the Lord’s mercy, seeks the Lord, calls upon him, forsakes his way and his thoughts and returns to the Lord, do you know what the Lord will do? He will abundantly pardon! You have never seen more mercy in your life – our Lord is so merciful that he will pardon all of the iniquity of your wickedness and unrighteousness as if you had done nothing! I believe the Lord will be found in here today if you’re seeking him, I believe he will save you if you call upon him and I believe he will abundantly pardon if you return to him today. If you are lost, call upon the Lord. If you are saved, return unto the Lord. He will abundantly pardon!!