THE MERCY SEAT
Ex. 25:17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
The Mercy Seat Had the Same Dimensions as the Ark!
The Mercy Seat was the lid, or covering for the Ark of the Testimony! Within the ark was the tables of the law that the Lord gave unto Moses in the mount. And the Mercy Seat was to cover that law and receive the blood of the sacrifice which God had appointed for Israel’s communion with Him! (Ex. 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, ...)
So we learn that the God of law, the God of perfect holiness, is to be revealed as the God of mercy! For all that the Father chose to love before time, the Son died for at Calvary! For the Mercy Seat – the lid of the ark – was not to be smaller, nor larger than the ark. It was to be exactly the same dimensions! For God will be known by his merciful character!
The Lord Jesus, being one with the Father (John 10:30), communed in complete agreement with the Trinity, expressing this truth. He knew that those whom the Father, the God of law, foreknew, were the same number for whom He was to atone! John 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. The Great God of the law, is the same Great God of mercy! Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Those whom the Father did love before the foundation of the world (Ephes. 1:4), those were the ones He predestinated (“marked off ahead of time”), to be made into the spiritual image of his only begotten Son!
Ex. 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. Moses asked to see the Lord’s glory! So the Lord showed him his goodness! He showed Moses his mercy! God will be known by his character, not by his possessions!
Ex. 34:5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
We know that America has already fallen spiritually because her citizens have lost their moral character, now seeking only to be know by what they possess! Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Dear friend, it is the patient goodness of God that has lead every redeemed soul unto repentance! Rom. 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Consider this verse as well – 1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. It was God showing his power of endurance, his self control, that brought those eight souls to safety! Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Dear reader, the justification for Hell is not to be found in looking at the wrath of God! One must look at the mercy, or the longsuffering of God! For mercy is only for the guilty! None cries out for mercy except the guilty! And God is know by his character as greatly merciful! Mic. 7:18 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 for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
But men climb over all this mercy in order to get to Hell! And all the while they are rejecting glorious mercy, God is enduring this with much longsuffering! Ezek. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Be assured, poor sinner, that the mercy of God for your salvation will not always be available to you! For Christ will suddenly return without any more provision for your sin! Heb. 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
The Mercy Seat Was Pure Gold!
Did you notice that the Mercy Seat was to be of “pure gold?” But if you read Exodus 25:10,11 you will find that the ark was only covered inside and out with gold overlay! Hence, we again see the importance the Lord puts upon his character revealed in his merciful kindness! The ark is a picture of the Humanity of God. He is very man, signified by the wood. And he is at the same time, very God, signified by the gold! But when it comes to the revelation of his redemption through the blood of the Lord Jesus, he would have it be to the praise of his glory! (Eph. 1:7,12).
For it is as the angels sang at the Incarnation! God’s highest glory entails peace and good will towards man! (Luke 2:14). For his Incarnation was for regeneration! Heb. 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
In fact, the same Hebrew word translated, “mercy seat” is translated in Exodus 29:33 as “an atonement was made!” And that same word is also translated “shalt pitch it,” in Genesis 6:14! For the Lord Jesus Christ is not only pictured by the ark of the testimony, he is also pictured by Noah’s ark! And as the ark of the testimony was sealed inside and out with gold, so the ark of Noah was sealed inside and out by pitch (a tar), to provide safety for those within! For as one brother pointed out, “he came by water and blood.” (1John 5:6). As pictured by Noah’s ark he came by water. And as by the ark of the testimony, he came by blood!
Hebrews 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. The word, here translated “mercy seat,” is the same Greek word translated, “propitiation” in Romans 3:25. For it is of God’s mercy that sinners are afforded an atonement! Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (“mercy seat”) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; God has “set forth” the only begotten Son as the Lamb of God to take away sin!
And faith in that blood for one’s sin, grants an effectual working of the mercy seat in the life, not only for present sin, but for all past sin! And why was not that elect sinner dropped into Hell upon his natural birth? Because the blood of the Lamb purchased God’s “forbearance” until the accomplished redemption was to be applied!
God presents his mercy as pure gold, but Himself, in his Incarnated appearance as only with gold overlay! Truly his mercy rejoices against judgment. James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Thank the Lord God for Christ, our Mercy Seat!
Pastor Gene Breed