“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (Psalm 86:5)
Today’s verse has several key words for study. I would like to focus in on “mercy”. One definition that I have heard about mercy is that it is “not getting something that you deserve”. We can substitute the word “compassion” for mercy; Our Father is “plenteous in compassion.” He overlooks our dreadful human ways and he allows us the mercy and forgiveness that we don’t deserve time and time again. I found the word “mercy” in the Bible 276 times in 261 verses. It is a very popular word and one that is often used to describe the character of God.
One of my favorite verses about mercy is also located in the Old Testament in the book of Lamentations. The author of Lamentations is unknown, although some ancient Jewish and early Christian traditions ascribe it to the prophet Jeremiah, who is known as the weeping prophet. It was written somewhere between 586 and 516 b.c., around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. “Lament” is an Old English word that we don’t hear much today, it means “to express sorrow; mourning”. In this book we find the following passage:
(Lam 3:22-25) It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
Recall that today’s verse back in Psalms says that the Lord is “plenteous in mercy” and in this passage we see that same concept … “[compassions] … they are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness”. This passage in Lamentations is a great one to commit to memory so that when we get down into a valley and cannot see the mountaintop, we can remember that the LORD will be faithful as He is time and time again. We can praise Him and thank Him for giving us something that we do not deserve — plenteous mercy.
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 107:1)