The Mercy Seat


The people of Israel are called to worship not the wonderful golden ark, but the One who dwells invisibly above it—at the mercy seat.

Pray: Gracious God and Father, I come to You today simply to be with You, worship You and learn from You.

Read: Exodus 25:1-22

Reflect: Who does God expect to bring him an offering?

The instructions for construction of the sanctuary are precise. No explanation is offered as to why all has to be just so. It is enough that God requires total obedience to his master plan. Indeed, could it be that the obedience is actually more important than the numbers of lamps, cherubs and so forth?

In this respect, the God of Israel is as demanding as any of the other “gods” in the locality. However, these verses reveal features of the one true God that set him apart. First, the people are called to worship not the wonderful golden ark but the one who dwells, invisible above it, at the mercy seat. Then this name for the cover of the ark takes us further into God’s true nature. His purpose in setting up the sanctuary is not domination and control. It is so that he might meet with his people and talk to them! And before all that, in v. 2, God himself, rather than demanding the homage which is his right, asks only for offerings of those willing to give.

The truth is that God will not force us to worship and love him. His requirements are clear. Whether we obey is up to us.

Apply: Reflect on how you prepare to worship the Lord, whether privately or with others. Are you a willing “giver” and worshiper?

Closing Prayer: Lord, in light of all You've given me, may I be glad and willing to offer You my praise and obedience.


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