Summary: Contrasts God’s relationship with man in the Old and New Covenants. When God set up residence on earth, He called his throne the Mercy Seat. But at Calvary both the name and the location changed - to the Throne of Grace.
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… … 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. Ex 25:17, 22 (KJV)
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. Heb 4:15-16 (KJV)
In Exo 25, we find the Lord giving instructions for his dwelling place on earth Notice that he calls it a MERCY SEAT. If you were God of the universe, the Creator of all things – what would you call your throne?
I think God’s choice of names for his throne is interesting. He is awesome. He is holy. He is just. But he says, “When you approach me – first and foremost I want you to realize I AM MERCIFUL.”
MERCY: "When God does not give us what we deserve."
God’s mercy sets Him apart from all other gods… We are first introduced to his mercy in Genesis 3. Adam thought that they would die when they ate of the fruit. He hid in fear and shame. But instead of vengeance, he received a covering.
Lucifer’s plans were immediately foiled (he wanted to see the judgment of God on Adam). He did not understand the mercy of God – having not experienced it himself.
He himself was cast down when he rebelled, and is now called the god of this world. (2 Cor 4:4). Lucifer is the inspiration behind all other gods. We know that he is a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44) But he does not understand mercy…
Thus all of the gods of this world must be “appeased”. But not so with our God. Lam 3:22 – It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed…
MERCY DEMONSTRATED IN THE OLD COVENANT
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: Heb 9:6-7 (KJV)
Every year, on the day of atonement – sins were “pushed back” one more year. God said, “You will NOT YET be judged for sin…”
You might ask, “Why would the Lord wait?” If judgment is coming eventually, why show mercy now???
Isa 30:18 – Therefore will the Lord wait, THAT HE MAY BE GRACIOUS unto thee…
The Lord postponed judgment, or was merciful, because something better was coming!
A NEW COVENANT
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb 9:11-12 (KJV)