Some people talk about God as though he is two different “characters” in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. For example, “the vengeful and harsh God of the Old Testament” versus “the loving and forgiving God of the New Testament.”
But the Bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
As I’ve been reading and studying through the book of Genesis recently, one thing that consistently strikes me is God’s incredible grace and mercy!
So I’ve decided to create a list here of all the examples of God’s grace and mercy I’ve encountered in Genesis (so far). I hope this list will be an encouragement to you as you get to (or start to) know God’s character more.
Here are the definitions of each that I use, as I know these words can have different connotations.
Grace: unmerited/undeserved favour
Mercy: divine favour or compassion
- God makes man and woman in His image and likeness. Being made in God’s image is an amazing blessing and honour, and there is nothing they (or we) did to deserve or earn that – they didn’t even exist yet when God made that decision! Genesis 1:26-27
- God blesses the man and woman and gives them a purpose – have babies, fill the earth and rule over it. Giving Adam and Eve a specific purpose and direction in life was a gift to them. They didn’t have to wonder about their reason for being – God told them clearly. Genesis 1:28
- God provides food for the people He made – it literally grows on trees, they don’t have to do anything! Genesis 1:29
- This food is “pleasing to the eye” and nutritious. Genesis 2:9
- God gives Adam a rule about one tree he may not eat from – this is for Adam’s protection (the alternative would be not telling Adam that eating from this tree would cause him to die – giving him no warning at all.) Genesis 2:17
- God sees that it is not good for the man to be alone, so he makes a helper who is suitable for him. This is not something Adam earned or deserved because he was such a great guy – this was purely God’s gracious gift to Adam, in meeting a need that God saw he had. Genesis 2:18
- When God goes to take one of Adam’s ribs, with which he forms Eve, he first causes Adam to “fall into a deep sleep” – this is an act of mercy to spare Adam of the pain it would have caused. Genesis 2:21
- When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, although death would indeed be the consequence, God showed them grace and mercy in allowing them not to die immediately, but to continue on in their mission to “be fruitful and multiply”. Genesis 3:6
- Even though Adam and Eve have just sinned against God for the first time – rebelling against his good authority and rule – He pursues them; He calls to them. He is the offended party, and yet God is the one to reach out and seek the offenders. Such love and grace! Genesis 3:9
- Even as God is dishing out the consequences to all the guilty parties, there is still amazing grace given to them. The woman will have pain in childbearing, but she will still go on to bear children! (Genesis 3:16) The man will have endure painful toil in order to eat, but he will still yield food! (Genesis 3:17-19)
- God makes garments from animal skins for Adam and Eve, more permanent and warm than the leaves they had quickly gathered to cover themselves. Genesis 3:21
This is part 1 in a series I hope to continue soon, with all the examples of God’s grace and mercy throughout the book of Genesis.
It’s my hope that this inspires you to open your Bible and get to know and love God more each day.
Friends, He is so good!