Weapon of Mercy

by Jose Oyola

During this season and especially this week, we have been walking through the weapons of our warfare. In 2 Cor 10:4 it states that they are "mighty in God" for the pulling down of strongholds. Praise God for that! Prayer, fasting, praise, worship are usually what comes to mind when we think of weapons at our disposal. Have you ever thought that mercy is one as well?

There's an interesting passage in 2 Kings 6:19:23. Elijah has just asked the Lord to open up his servant's eyes to see the chariots of fire and horses surrounding them and then prays that the Syrians who came to attack them be struck with blindness. Elijah's prayer is answered, and he leads the blinded Syrians to Samaria, where he prays again and their eyes are opened! Let's pick it up in verse 21.

Then the king of Israel when he saw them, said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set bread and water before them, so that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.” So he provided a large feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of Syrians did not come again into the land of Israel.

You notice the natural response by the king of Israel is to ask if he can kill his enemies. In the midst of being attacked this is the mindset or possible stronghold we are tempted to lean into...the "an eye for eye, tooth for a tooth" attitude taking matters in our own hands and getting payback. The godly mindset is found in Romans 12:19 where it says do not avenge yourselves but rather give place to wrath, for it is written "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" says the Lord.

Elijah instructs the king to set bread and water before them and provides a large feast! WOW! He literally is demonstrating Romans 12:20..."If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him a drink." I wonder how those Syrians felt by this act of mercy. I wonder if by doing so Elijah "heaped coals of fire on their heads" :). You see there are times when the weapon of mercy demonstrated through generosity is what is needed to awaken the conscience of those doing us harm. It's a weapon that can change the heart! In verse 23 we see that the raiders "came no more into the land of Israel.” There was an end of hostilities through this act of mercy! Hallelujah!

Jesus talks a lot about mercy...in Math 5:7 he says blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy and in v9 blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God. God uses the inevitable conflicts we face with people to help us obtain mercy, in order to be peacemakers. It is his way to ground us in our identity as sons and daughters. Our battles can bring great rewards if we are willing to surrender to his ways!

Prayer Points

1. If you find yourself looking to avenge yourself when attacked...pray Romans 12:19-20 over your life, that you'd be an example of this passage.

2. Pray that you'd see mercy is a path to be grounded in your identity in Christ!
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