I counted 214 times that “mercy” is used in the Old Testament. It signifies not giving someone what they deserve – extending forgiveness instead of punishment.
A close cousin is “grace,” but this word is only used 38 times in the Old Testament. It takes the extra step over mercy, extending as a gift what is not deserved. Not just forgiveness, but more than that.
In the New Testament, we see the counts reversed. While “mercy” is only mentioned 58 times, “grace” is mentioned 128 times.
And now, instead of a mercy seat, we have a throne of grace.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16, NKJV).
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
I just thought that was really neat – maybe you find that neat, too!