There was a Roman centurion who evidently had heard of the healing power of JESUS CHRIST. He had a servant who was sick and therefore he approached unto the LORD and requested HIM to heal his servant. The LORD told him that HE would come to his house and heal him. Then this centurion uttered these words, “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” (Mat 8:8-9) The LORD then remarked that this was a great display of the gift of faith because this mere Roman soldier recognized HIS absolute power over all things, whereas the Jews to whom were committed the oracles of GOD (see Rom.3:2) failed to see it.
He understood that if a person has authority over men in their charge then all that he has to do is command them to do something and they will do it. He recognized this power in CHRIST but many religious men, even in the present hour cannot quite grasp the totality of CHRIST’s power and rule over all things, even the will of men. They believe that the hands of GOD are tied insofar as the wills of men are concerned. They believe that man is sovereign over GOD himself as to the exercise of that which is called “free will”.
We take great comfort in the Psalmist’s words, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3) There are no ifs, maybes, or buts with HIM. Whatsoever HE decrees shall come to pass. “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” (Pro 16:33) This is plainly evident in HIS declaration which HE delivered through the prophet Isaiah wherein HE speaks of the “sure mercies” of David.
There is probably no passage of scripture that is any more certain to raise the ire of the natural man than that which Paul relates, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Rom 9:15) Then he goes on to further state the conclusion of the matter. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom 9:18)
To be a recipient of GOD’s mercy is to be ordained to receive it by HIS sovereign act which can in no wise be overturned. This is the greatest privilege that any man can be given and there is not one thing that any can do to either earn or deserve it. Mercy is favor shown to those who not only do not deserve it but are actually guilty of crimes, worthy of death. It is the exact opposite of what they ought to have.
GOD reserves the right to show this mercy as HE sees fit. Because HIS mercy is bestowed according to HIS sovereign purpose (which can in no wise be thwarted), then these mercies can be spoken of as “sure”. HE declared that HE would bless the house of David, and that there would never cease to be one who sprang from the loins of David who would sit upon the throne of Israel. That has most certainly been demonstrated in history and now there is ONE who sits upon that throne who can never be deposed or overthrown. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” (Psa 2:6-9)
The “sure mercies” of David are insured by HIM who cannot lie. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb 6:17-20)
The “sure mercies” of David are administered by HIM whose “mercy endureth forever”. This ONE who dispenses this mercy is the purveyor of “tender mercies” as the Psalmist says:“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” (Psa 25:6) This is demonstrated most clearly in the giving of HIS SON;“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
The “sure mercies” of David are dependent upon the GOD who never changes, nor ever needs to make any corrections along the way. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” (Act 15:18) Some seem to think that GOD’s foreknowledge of things is similar to that of a fortuneteller who simply sees what will occur and adjusts HIS schedule to fit it. This is complete error. GOD knows all things because HE has decreed all things to come to pass exactly as HE sees fit, from the flight of a gnat around the nose of a spotted dog to cataclysms of this world in whatever form they take. But more importantly, (though with the same degree of certainty) has HE ordained the very steps that every man takes, whether they be steps unto destruction or unto the enjoyments of eternal life. (see 2Pet.2:9)
These “sure mercies” have their culmination in the resurrection of the saints of which CHRIST is the first fruits. “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.” (Acts 13:33-37)
In CHRIST is revealed all of the mercies of a Covenant keeping GOD. To CHRIST have all of the promises of this Covenant been made (see Gal.3:16) and HE has both secured them for HIS people by HIS actions and does daily demonstrate those mercies as HE is pleased to call HIS children to HIMSELF to partake of that which HE has ordained that they should have.
HIS call is not an offer nor a request, but even as the Centurion recognized, a command. In the same fashion in which HE commanded Lazarus to come forth from a tomb on a Judean hillside so HE calls unto HIS children, saying “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat 11:28-30) Do you hear HIS voice? Flee from the wrath to come for HE is that one who is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of the “sure mercies of David”. CHRIST alone is the SAVIOR of sinners, the only ONE in whom this mercy will be found.mam