MERCY Andy Hollifield 12-20-16
I love one word titles. It kind of gets right to the subject matter. While reading scripture yesterday while writing the post, I came across one verse that the Lord just nudged my heart about. It was Exodus 30:6 “And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.” I began to think about that God’s designated meeting place with us is at the seat of mercy. Not at the seat of judgement, although we will all stand before him in judgement, but at the seat of mercy. The term “mercy seat” is used 22 times in the bible and always refers to the mercy seat in the tabernacle and to its place in Solomon’s temple. I like what the prophet said in Micah 7:8 “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Did you catch that? God delights in being merciful! I am thankful he doesn’t delight in judgement. The word “mercy” is used 276 times in 261 verses in the bible. When something is mentioned that many times, we would do well to pay attention. It is mentioned in the book of Psalms alone 99 times. Throughout the New Testament we find people coming to Jesus for healing and what they asked for was simply mercy. Mercy is so dear to the heart of Christ that it is one of the Beatitudes from Jesus’ famous “Sermon On The Mount”; Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” I noticed this morning for the first time, that it is number five out of nine. That means it is right in the middle. The number five in the scriptures is always representative of grace. It is also worth noting that as David crossed the brook to fight Goliath he picked up five smooth stones. In the construction of the tabernacle, the number five is used multiple times such as five curtains joined together and five ingredients in the holy anointing oil. You will notice multiples of five such as with the 10 commandments which is 2 times 5. Five of the commandments pertain to our conduct toward God and the other 5 deal with our conduct toward each other. Jesus used five loaves and two fishes to feed five thousand. The reason he fed them was because he was being merciful. In Matthew 17 a father asked Jesus for mercy for his “lunatic” son. In chapter 20 it is two blind men that cry out for mercy. Even in Luke 16, the rich man in hell cried out for mercy although it was too late for him. After you die, there is no more mercy for you if you die without the Lord as your Savior. Some of my favorite verses have to deal with mercy. Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” Hebrews 4:15 and 16 speaking of Jesus as our high priest; “(15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” There it is again. Mercy and grace tied together. Aren’t you glad that we obtained mercy from the throne of grace. Nothing at all we have done or ever could do to deserve God’s mercy. I am thankful that in the Old Testament and the New, that God still has a mercy seat where he still meets with those that are willing to admit their sinful condition and repent. The bible says “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3 and 5). I am thankful that we don’t have to perish because Christ made the way of repentance to obtain mercy and forgiveness of our sin when he died on the cross. If you are reading this and you are a born again child of God, think about the wonderful gift he gave you when, instead of wrath and judgement and justice, by repentance you obtained mercy and grace. If you are reading this and have never accepted him as your personal savior, wrath and judgement and justice await you. When God draws you to him by the Holy Ghost, if you submit yourself to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, repenting of your sins, and believing in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you too can obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. I hope this helps someone today. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!