The Mercy Seat – Numbers 7:89

“And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.” Numbers 7:89

The ark containing the testimony of God, His covenant with the Israelites, included a mercy seat. It was from above this mercy seat that Moses would hear the voice of God. What a marvelous Lord, that He has a mercy seat. Inside the ark are the commandments, the law, and His mercy covers them. Not as a sign that this Holy God ignores evil and rebellion, but to give hope to all who choose to again follow Him.

The law is not the end. The law does not dictate our righteousness. We have Christ, “The LORD is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). Through Him, we can know the mercies of God which are new every morning. We can come to the mercy seat, we can approach the throne of grace, trusting that we will not be cast out or condemned, because the sacrifice of Jesus is enough for us. Believing in Him, we are covered in grace.

When we are haunted by our sin, it can be a very heavy weight on our heart. Like David, we cry, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3). But we have this confidence: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

It can be difficult at times to truly believe this. Fear tells us that mercy has reached its limit. But perhaps here David’s story can give us hope. He prays, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness” (Psalm 51:14). David was an adulterer. And when the girl got pregnant, he sent her husband to the front lines in battle so that he would be killed and David’s initial sin wouldn’t be found out. Blood was on his hands. Yet when faced with the evil he had committed, David’s heart is broken and he runs to His God. He asks for that which he doesn’t deserve–deliverance from bloodguiltiness. He cries to the God of his salvation, trusting that God will see his brokenness and contrition and will be faithful.

God was faithful. His mercy poured out on this sinner. This man is still known as one after God’s own heart, a declaration made by God Himself. The Messiah–the one through whom we can all know salvation and mercy–came from David’s line. God delivered him from bloodguiltiness. Those sins did not define him. Let us look to this as evidence of our hope that God will forgive. He did not abandon David. He will never abandon you.

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