Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. Psalm 130
So, they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees. “Go away from me, Lord,” he said, “for I am a sinful man.” For he and his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken… Luke 5:7-8
“The hammer of the law may break the icy heart of man with terrors and horrors, and yet it may remain ice still, unchanged; but when the fire of love kindly thaws its ice, it is changed and dissolved into water – it is no longer ice, but of another nature.” (Swinnock, cited in Spurgeon). Punishment will bring a change of behavior, but mercy will bring a change of heart. God’s love, mercy and forgiveness bring us to a place of submission and love for Him. This pattern is also true for parents – who must train their children with mercy and love. A parent who forces/punishes without love will find a child who obeys but not a changed heart in the child. A harsh husband who demands ‘obedience’ from a wife, may have a ‘quiet and submitted’ wife but not a wife who loves him and honors him. In our work with women in crisis, we cannot push or badger a woman to choose life, rather we must lovingly show her mercy and compassion so that she will choose life for her child. “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13.