The end of the book of Exodus seems rather tedious. All those instructions about the tabernacle and its furnishings. Does it really matter? Well, look again. I found an amazing verse–Exodus 37: 9. Moses was remembering how the gifted artisan Bezalel had made the Ark, and overlaid it with precious gold. There were rings on the Ark’s side where wooden poles, also overlaid with gold, would fit through so the Ark could be carried without ever having to be touched by human hands. Tightly covering the Ark was a solid gold lid called the ‘mercy seat’. On top of the mercy seat were two golden angels, the cherubim, spreading their wings over the mercy seat. Their faces look directly at each other.
What impresses me most is the mercy seat. Mercy covers all the glory of the Ark. Mercy covers it all. Mercy and His holiness go hand-in-hand. Angels look over and protect God’s mercy. Angels are created guardians offering shade from the heat that blazes down upon God’s people. The terrible heat emanating from anxiety, worry and overwork. Angels shading us. Acting on behalf of God Himself.
What is His mercy anyway? Some have said that His grace is receiving what we don’t deserve. God is so generous. None of us deserve one smidgeon of His grace. It’s truly God’s ‘amazing grace’. I depend on God’s grace… and am thankful for all He gives me, when I bother to think about it. When I stop taking Him for granted.
Mercy?…That’s NOT receiving what I DO deserve. Think about that for a moment. God not giving us what we deserve. I love grace, receiving from the Lord. Who doesn’t? But mercy, sounds pretty good to me and in light of how I am, maybe even a better deal! Imagine if God gave me all that I deserve. I know how brutal that would be. I know myself. I know what a sinner I am.
It’s mercy I need. Somewhere, way down deep in my emotions, I know how little I deserve anything good from God. How right He would be to write me off. But the Gospel is not about me or my fragile, fractured emotions. It’s about the Lord and all His mercy sealed tightly over the most precious item in the Tabernacle. His mercy we can count on. His mercy trumps all our sin. His mercy is everlasting, new every morning and night. I’m glad! So glad! You too?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all your mercy. For covering us when we feel so exposed by our sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.