To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant…whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us… – Luke 1:72,78
The evangelists, though they wrote in Greek, carried with them into that language the idioms of the Hebrew tongue; so that they do not use an adjective, as it would seem from our translation-“tender mercy;” but they say, mercy of the bowels, or of the inwards, or of the heart of God. “The mercy of the heart of God” is to be seen in the remission of sin, and in the visitation of His love when He comes to us as “the Dayspring from on high.” Great is the tenderness of divine mercy.
But I call your attention to the original reading because it seems to me not only to mean tenderness, but much more. The mercy of the heart of God is, of course, the mercy of His great tenderness, the mercy of His infinite gentleness and consideration; but other thoughts also come forth from the expression, like bees from a hive. It means the mercy of God’s very soul. The heart is the seat and center of life, and mercy is to God as His own life. “I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God.” God is love: not only is He loving, but He is love itself. Mercy is of the divine essence: there is no God apart from His heart, and mercy lies in the heart of God. He has bound up His mercy with His existence: as surely as God lives, He will grant remission of sins to those who turn unto Him.
Nor is this all-the mercy of God’s heart means His hearty mercy, His cordial delight in mercy. Remission of sins is a business into which the Lord throws His heart. He forgives with an intensity of will, and readiness of soul. God made heaven and earth with His fingers, but He gave His Son with His heart in order that He might save sinners. The Eternal God has thrown His whole soul into the business of redeeming men. If you desire to see God most Godlike, it is in the pardon of sin, and the saving of men. ~ C.H. Spurgeon