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How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 11:17 Cruelty and Mercy’s Rewards

In Actions, Attitude, Biblical Principles, Blessings, Christian Lifestyle, Christian Living, Cruelty, Decision Making, Evil, Grace, Mercy, Proverbs, Reactions, Rewards, Righteous Living, Righteousness, Wisdom on July 25, 2022 at 3:53 pm

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition(s).

17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Cruelty and Mercy’s Rewards

Cruelty is its own punishment and goodness its own reward.

Our soul (our mind, body, and spirit) are effected physically and affected mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by our own conduct. If we seek to be merciful toward people, we will find a goodness in our lives. In the same token, if we seek to be cruel in our dealing with people, we can expect our lives to be filled with trouble. We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8).

What does it mean to be merciful? Well, let us examine the word merciful as defined in the Hebrew language.

“merciful” in the Hebrew language is defined as:

2617. חֶסֶד cheçed, kheh’-sed; from 2616; kindness; by impl. (toward God) piety; rarely (by opposition) reproof, or (subj.) beauty:— favour, good deed (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity.

2616. חָסַד châçad, khaw-sad; a prim. root; prop. perh. to bow (the neck only [comp. 2603] in courtesy to an equal), i.e. to be kind; also (by euphem. [comp. 1288], but rarely) to reprove:— shew self merciful, put to shame.

Within the definition of merciful we find one of rewards “beauty” subjective beauty. To be merciful to someone is a beautiful act. Mercy is given to “kindness” toward others, as well as “kindness toward God” displayed in our “piety” or godly conduct. Mercy actually corrects the brother or sister who needs correction (“reproof”) so they might find “shame” over their conduct and repent. Mercy shows” favor” to other people over oneself. It does “good deeds” whenever possible. Merciful behavior is found in “courtesy” toward people. Mercy, true merciful conduct, shows ‘mercy to ourselves’ when mercy is needed.

Now a look at the “good” that comes to us from mercy we show other people.

“good” in the Hebrew is defined this way:

1580. גָּמַל gâmal, gaw-mal; a prim. root; to treat a person (well or ill), i.e. benefit or requite; by impl. (of toil), to ripen, i.e. (spec.) to wean:— bestow on, deal bountifully, do (good), recompense, requite, reward, ripen, + serve, mean, yield.

Mercy feeds our souls. When ‘we treat ourselves and other people well’ – when we are merciful – being treated well will mean being well. Our spiritual fruit will “ripen” as we treat other people and ourselves with mercy. We mature as a person as we seek to show mercy all around. “Good” things come our way as we walk in mercy, we receive the “recompense” or “reward” for our godly conduct. As we show mercy to those who oppose us God is freed to take action on our behalf to “requite” (avenge) the wrongs done to us. Mercy brings a willingness on people’s part to “yield” to us when we are walking in God’s Will.

Now a look at the other side.

“cruel” is defined in the Hebrew as:

394. אַכְזָרִי ˒akzârı̂y, ak-zaw-ree; from 393; terrible:— cruel (one).

393. אַכְזָר ˒akzâr, ak-zawr; from an unused root (appar. mean. to act harshly); violent; by impl. deadly; also (in a good sense) brave: cruel, fierce.

When our conduct toward other people is “terrible” or “cruel” not in line with God’s Will and Ways we too reap the rewards of such. When we are a person given to “acting harshly” we expect the same. The “violent” and “deadly” are always looking over their shoulders for the “fierce” forces coming for them.

“troubleth” in the Hebrew is defined this way:

5916. עָכַר ˓âkar, aw-kar; a prim. root; prop. to roil water; fig. to disturb or afflict: trouble, stir.

If you are such a person who acts with harshness and cruelty you can expect your life to be filled with “roil” (agitation) and distress. Your soul will be constantly in a state where it is “disturbed” and your life “afflicted” with regularity. Your life will be a pot of hot mess that is continually “stirred” with “trouble” and peace you will not see on any level, mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

There is so much good that comes from being merciful, I cannot imagine why we would want to do anything different, expect that the sinful nature would like to rule us and take way the good we could have if chose mercy over cruelty.

Throughout this study, if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.