Have you ever considered the mercy of God that’s in the Bible before you ever get to its content? What do I mean? I mean that God has been merciful to us in even giving us the Bible so we can know him, and he has been merciful to us in the way he chose to have the Bible written. Before we ever to get to what is actually being said in the Bible, we see mercy!
First, God’s love led him, transcendent and majestic as he is, to humbly put himself in a book, so that finite sinners could know who he is and what he has done. The fact that there is a Bible on my desk in front of me right now is evidence of God’s concentrated mercy toward a world of people who have chosen themselves over him. God didn’t leave us here to figure things out for ourselves, because he knew we couldn’t figure things out for ourselves. The only way for us to know God is for God to show himself to us, and he has done that in a way that allows us to understand him: through words.
Second, we see God’s mercy in the different literary genres of the Bible. The Bible is written in story (narrative), letter (the epistles), biography (the gospels), song (Psalms), law (Leviticus especially), truism (Proverbs) and more. Can you imagine if God would’ve simply written the whole Bible in any one of these forms of literature? An entire Bible of narrative would make it hard to derive direct application from the text. An entire book of song would make it hard to establish doctrine. An entire Bible of law would make it hard for us to worship. By giving us a variety of literature in the Bible God is helping us know him and live for him in a balanced way so we don’t miss out on some of his greatness and blessing.
Tomorrow, we will look at the book of Psalms in particular to see God’s mercy in its form of literature, so stay tuned.