Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. (Psalm 33:18)
Aren't you glad our God is merciful! Aren't you glad He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:10)! Aren't you glad that our God doesn't mark iniquities, But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (Psalm 130:3-4)! Aren't you glad that our God holds back the judgment He could rightfully execute upon us! Aren't you glad He does not give us what we do deserve! That's mercy. And our God is plenteous in mercy (Psalm 103:8).
Now, there are two ways in which sinful, fallen men react to the mercy of God. The proper reaction is revealed in Psalm 33:18. The improper reaction is seen all around us.
The improper reaction first. Is it not evident that because God often forbears His judgment, because He is longsuffering, because He allows men to continue in sin in hopes they will one day repent, sinful men become disillusioned and are deceived into thinking that the holy, righteous, judgment and indignation of God upon their evil deeds will never fall.
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8:11)
God's mercy actually leads some to continue in their sin. They simply do not realize that just because God's judgment did not fall today does not mean it never will. Yes, God is merciful. But He is also holy. Yes, He is a loving God, but that does not negate the fact that He is also a God of judgment.
Now, the proper reaction to the mercy of God. Psalm 33:18 says that God's mercy is a cause for a confident assurance the Bible calls hope. God could judge us for our sins. He'd rather forgive us. He could damn us. He'd rather save us. We deserve hell. He'd rather take us to heaven. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed (Lamentations 3:22).
A proper understanding of these facts would lead a man not to continue in his sinful ways, but to repent and FEAR GOD. In Psalm 33:18, the man who hopes in God's mercy is the same man that fears the Lord. And God's eye is upon him.
Those who properly know and understand who God is do not take advantage of His mercy or strain His mercy by seeing how much they can get away with before His judgment falls. They see God's mercy not as an excuse to sin, but as their only hope of redemption.
Consider for a moment today, how do you react to the mercy of God – not with your words, but with your actions and attitudes and thoughts?