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Vessels of Mercy

Apostle Don Meares

15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the Potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 

Romans 9:15,18-23

Are you a vessel of God’s mercy? We all recognize and realize that God is sovereign. Because He is sovereign, He operates the circumstances and the events in our lives to the praise of His glory. God is the Potter, and He has power over us, the clay. He can do what He thinks is good for us. 

Sometimes, we ask God why He made us the way we are, or, sometimes, we ask Him why there seems to be more pressure in a particular area in life. We should know that God wants to mold us in this specific area of life because He wants to use us in this area through our circumstances. He is molding us to become what He wants us to be going beyond our genetics. It’s His hand shaping our lives, making impressions, changing and rearranging our character and our personality that ultimately, God might be glorified through the circumstances and the events of our lives. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

God says, if He is going to accomplish His purpose, He will use all things and control things in our lives until we shape up to the purpose that He has called us to fulfill. His methods might be different from ours, but His plan is to mold us, leading us to places where we can stand and submit to His will in our lives. God, at times takes us through different ways, places, and obstacle courses to mold us. When things begin in your life, you have to know that God’s hand is always still in control of those things. The things happening in our lives are not just being thrown at us without purpose. You are not a helpless victim of the storm, but God’s hand is manipulating circumstances until you become what He wants you to be. 

Becoming who God calls you to be

God has so many expectations from your life that He will not leave you alone. He’s going to make sure that you become and go through the process of becoming what He’s called you to do and what He’s called you to be. In our walk with God we have a choice—to be a vessel of mercy, a vessel of wrath, a vessel of honor, or a vessel of dishonor. Because of this, we have to understand that God does not make us alike. Success is never becoming what God made somebody else. Success is always becoming the best you can be and becoming what God wants you to be. It’s a process. Are you becoming who He is shaping and molding you to be? 

God says He will use things and cause all things to work harmoniously in your life. You will understand that the events and circumstances in your life that all these things are working together for the good according to God’s purpose. God has a plan. Nothing happens accidentally. Only God can take a mess and bring a blessing. Only God can take the worst of circumstances and bring the best results in my life. 

The Four Vessels of Mercy

“and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,”Romans 9:23

God is saying, I’m going to show off my power in you, my ability. I’m going to show my power and make you a vessel of honor. I am making you a vessel of mercy. Every pressure that you went through and endured, every mark that God made that you thought shouldn’t have happened, the Potter says that He knows what He had in mind. He knows what He’s doing. He sees the end of where He wants you to go so that you may become the vessel that He’s created you. 

God loves to show off vessels of mercy. Matthew 1 discusses the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. In verse 3 and in verse 5, the genealogy includes Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the wife of Uriah. These four women served as vessels of mercy, who were part of the generation of Jesus Christ. Matthew, who is the first heralder of the Gospel wants to take it to the Jewish people and He wants to introduce this to Israel. He begins writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit telling others about how good and important Jesus is. If you are an Israelite, you are no more significant than your genealogy—it is your pedigree, your background, the detail that says to others you are somebody. Jesus’ lineage is a vessel of honor. He’s part of Abraham and David’s line. 


After discussing the patriarchs, the author talks about the matriarchs. Interestingly, there were no mentions of Sarah, Rebecca, or Rachel—none of the honored women of Israel. But the Holy Spirit wants Matthew to mention a “blot” or a “blemish” in the past of Israel. Matthew mentions Tamar, the woman that Judah fell into sin with. She was the woman who dressed up like a harlot and sat on the side of the road and seduced her father-in-law Judah and became pregnant with his baby. Tamar wasn’t even an Israelite. She was a Canaanite, a heathen, an idolater. Yet, God said she must be included in the record of Jesus Christ. Only God can pull out such a vessel as Tamar showing that He specializes in using people who have been stained and turn her to a vessel of mercy.


Every now and then, God brings a person in who is an “embarrassment” to the record. Somebody who’s not polished, refined, or not talked about. And then there’s also Rahab, who was introduced as a harlot. However, she was the one who helped the spies come over the wall to help them capture the city of Jericho. Despite her reputation, she became a heroine. God looked beyond her faults and saw her needs. As a result, she and her whole household was saved among all the households in Jericho. 

God brings these vessels of mercy to let people know that the church is not a society club where one can pick and choose who they will let in. The power of God’s mercy changes a person into what He wants them to become, not just for their own lives but for generations to come. It’s very comforting to know that where we have been doesn’t stop us from where we’re going. God will purposely and intentionally reach out beyond Sarah, Rachel, and Rebecca and take someone like Rahab who has done wrong in her life. Others might think that she has no right to become a vessel, but God has given her a purpose for His Kingdom—to be in the genealogy of His own Son. People who might think themselves worthless, unworthy, or useless can get into God’s house. These people understand that God brought them out of the miry clay and put their feet on a rock. They know that they’ve been turned into a vessel of mercy so that they can glorify and praise Him. 


God says again through the Holy Spirit in the book of Matthew to put Boaz’s wife in the record. Ruth is a Moabite who wasn’t even worthy to glean in the field with the rest of the Israelite gleaners but she had to stand in the background and catch the crumbs when the Israelite gleaners when finished. Have you ever felt like a second-class citizen who had to stand in the background to catch other people’s blessings and depend on them to drop you just a handful for you to make it? Have you ever gone through a time when you were less than the last and you were the worst of the worst? 

God said when He used Ruth that it’s not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). So when you look at the hallmark of faith, don’t forget Ruth the desperate woman who married an Israelite in Moab where she just got a short experience of Jehovah before her husband died. And when her mother-in-law Naomi gets ready to go back to Bethlehem she came with her. 

There is something about just getting a taste of God that once you get even just a little taste of Him, want to truly taste and see His goodness (Psalm 34:8). She decided and told Naomi:  

“Entreat me not to leave you,

Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go;

And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16

Ruth said that she cannot stay in Moab anymore because she has seen something greater in her life. Naomi understood that if Ruth comes with her, she will not be a citizen. She would have to live off the generosity of others. Despite this, all Ruth had in going with Naomi was the promise that she would be waiting for the leftovers of others. But in her case, God’s Word is true that if you are just faithful over a few things, He will make you ruler over many things (see Matthew 25:23). 

When she started out, she didn’t have anything but a corner. But after a while, Boaz saw her gleaning in the corner and he said bring that woman out of the corner and into the field. In Ruth’s life, Naomi was her mother-in-law but she had become her real mother. It’s like what the Scripture says to let the older women teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5) and without any question, Naomi rose to the occasion of becoming her true mother because God had joined them together. She nurtured Ruth in the ways of God. Ruth was redeemed through her marriage to Boaz because she listened to her godly mother. If God covers you, let no one stop you from being a vessel of mercy. 

The Wife of Uriah

The last vessel of mercy wasn’t called by her name but we know that she was the mother of Solomon. She was David’s woman yet the Bible never called her his wife. In the Bible, God never accepted their marriage or relationship. Rather, she was known as the wife of Uriah, a Gentile. In 2 Samuel 11, we read of David’s selfish pursuit of Bathsheba that caused him to murder Uriah. Because of his actions, David puts a blemish on the testimony of Israel. But in the genealogy of Jesus, it wasn’t erased. It wasn’t an issue that was swept under the rug. God did not condone what David did. But despite everything that happened, Uriah’s wife was used as a vessel of mercy. 

Every now and then we have to be reminded of our past, of where we came from so that we would remember how God changed us. God’s compassion and kindness on us took us out of our messy situations and put us on the Rock—Jesus Christ. God’s love affirms us that He can turn our worst nightmare into the most glorious redemption story. He specializes in making vessels of mercy—regardless of where you came from.

Romans 8:31 reminds us, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Also, 1 John 4:4 reminds us that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Despite our past, God says He will not hide us but put us on display in His eternal Kingdom so that everybody can see and know that it’s not by our works but by His mercy and compassion. His mercies are everlasting and new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Wherever you may find yourself, remember that God can make you a vessel of His mercy.