Exodus 24 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Set the mercy seat on top of the ark and put the testimony that I will give you into the ark. I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there about all that I command you regarding the Israelites.” Exodus 25: 21-22
Grace and Mercy are two independent concepts, yet they work closely together.
GRACE is GETTING what you don’t deserve. MERCY is NOT GETTING what you deserve. Think of this acrostic: M.E.R.C.Y.: My Extensive Righteousness Covers You
In the Ark, G_d’s mercy is positioned on top. It is the arbitrator between His covenant and His law. In that sense, the ark, with its covering & contents, can be viewed as a picture of the “Trinity”, or Tri-Unity of G_d. G_d is ONE, yet exists in three Persons: Father (Judge), Son (Messiah) & Ruach (Spirit).
The covenant represents Grace, God’s Word/promise: Yeshua. The Law represents Justice, with respect to G_d’s revealed standard for Israel: Spirit. Mercy represents the Wisdom of weighing the two, pronouncing judgment: G_d.
Without mercy, Israel would always be caught in a Divine “catch-22”. Could they rest in G_d’s promise to their forefathers, or did they also have to live-up to His perfect standard? G_d’s mercy provides the balance, His response. Sometimes His mercy brings about hardship, to teach us. Other times mercy keeps us from the full consequences of our sin, to encourage us. It is solely His wise judgment, which determines His course of action. That is mercy.
The good news is that Messiah “…is able to protect you from stumbling and make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy.” Jude v. 24
When Yeshua paid our sin debt, it satisfied G_d’s standard for us. Not only did Messiah clear our debt, He also imputed (deposited) righteousness into our accounts, as it were.
When the L_rd looks upon a “Messiah follower”, He sees only His covenant promise and His law, fulfilled. His response to us will be the same as that to His Son, “Well done!”
For those outside of Messiah’s covering, the Bible clearly states the L_rd’s response: “Turn away, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:20-23)
Based on that knowledge, who would reject so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3)
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, March 25, 2014