The Law, Mercy and Grace.
Many do not associate Mercy and Grace with the Old Testament Law as given to Moses. Prior to the Law there was no Law, only Faith.
A number of the Old Testament patriarchs, or “fathers” pleased God because of their faith and belief, however these men (and women) were few and far between.
What I need to mention here is that the people that ultimately were given the “Law” were hand picked by God and relatively few in number (sound familiar?)
What was their purpose and what were they to demonstrate to the nations around them? God’s Mercy and Grace!
You might ask how? Through the Law! That is a most draconian piece of literature if ever there was one, but on closer inspection we see that the law was just and merciful, and was administered by a God that is full of Grace.
We might look at the penalties for the “capital crimes”. Stoning, burning by fire, banishment etc. We think of here things as being brutal and torturous, and they are taken by themselves. No one would want to be stoned to death, or burnt. Neither of those deaths wold be quick or painless.
Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every matter be established. A persons guilt was established through the eyewitness accounts of two or three verifiable and reliable eyewitnesses.
At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
2 Corinthians 13:1
Paul’s Desire to Visit Corinth Again
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Now we see the principle of the witnesses has been established in both the old and new testaments. Can you ask yourself how difficult it would be for anyone to be stoned or burnt under the law without at least two reliable and verifiable witnesses. A murderer or an adulterer would not be so foolish as to commit those crimes in the presence of eyewitnesses. No witnesses, no proof, no punishment. We might think that isn’t fair to the victims of the crimes, but we so often forget that death isn’t final, and judgment will take place at some time in the future.
Murderers and adulterers have been filled with the Holy Spirit. I personally have met at least one man who murdered seven people that is filled with the Holy Spirit. God’s mercy worked for him, and he is enjoying God’s grace as he receives many blessings in his life. I’m sure we have all met people that have committed “capital crimes” that God has forgiven as they repented of their sins. they are now our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Old Testament Law and it’s requirements to prove guilt is a demonstration of God’s mercy and grace to His people. It would have been almost impossible to convict someone under the requirements set out.
Even Jesus had to be convicted by false witnesses to suffer the penalty of death. there were no verifiable eyewitnesses to His alleged crime, so he was falsely accused and killed for our crimes, so that we could receive Mercy and Grace. Mercy when we repented and were filled with the Holy Spirit, and Grace as we daily receive the constant blessings that God pours out on us.
Acts 2, 10 and 19 are our verifiable eyewitness accounts of the Grace and Mercy of God as a requirement for salvation. Praise the Lord for His wisdom and Love towards his called and chosen people.