Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea, a great High Priest, whose name is love, who ever lives and pleads for me, my name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart, I know that while in heaven He stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart, no tongue can bid me thence depart. Selah
“When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there, who made an end to all my sin, because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the Just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me, to look on Him and pardon me.” The song continues.
David feared to bring the ark of God into the city of David, having watched as that Holy Presence smote Uzzah, who lifted his hand to steady the unstable ark on its shaking cart. “No, no, no, send the ark to the house of Obed-Edom and watch what happens,” para-phrases the story. That ark of God then blessed Obed-Edom and David changed his mind, but something deeper happened.
David discerned the picture which that ark of God represented, with the mercy seat on top. He saw life for life, mercy covering judgment, mercy rejoicing against it, as James 2:13 teaches. In a sense, Uzzah had tried to steady a jiggling mercy, and this is not possible. What? Mercy could in no way be uncertain. It violates all that would come in later days; a spotless lamb, a perfect sacrifice for sin. This “quivering” would undo the “sure mercies of David,”
There remains a present day error which has similar results; and that error sees God as wavering, as indecisive, as convulsing in His commitment. Friends, your mind may vacillate, but never God. Mercy can never sway, it endures forever. Mercy, in God, changes not, Malachi 3:6. Mercy and truth have met together and righteousness has kissed peace in Psalm 85. Folks, which sin takes a person beyond mercy? If there were any that could we would have to change the ark and make it a “forgiveness seat.” Perhaps it could be a “pardon seat” or an “overlooking seat.”
Mercy is not a discretion or freedom to decide what should be done in a certain situation. It is not an occasional whim and happening of God. It is the very policy, the very standard, the very heart of the “Father of Mercies.” Two protecting cherubim overlooked the mercy seat to insure its steadfastness. The same guarded the garden of Eden lest sinful man would return and eat of the tree of life and so perpetuate sin irredeemable. The responsibility of these angels was great, and God chose His best. They did the job then and now, and on still.
In Micah 7:18 God is said to delight in mercy, and in 6:8, I am told to love it. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus spoke of it as a Pharasee-forsaken weightier matter, and in Hebrews 4:16 we come boldly to it’s throne, and receive mercy in time of need.
“Behold Him there the risen Lamb, My perfect spotless righteousness, The great unchangeable I Am, The king of glory and of grace, One with Himself I cannot die, My soul is purchased by His blood, My life is hid with Christ on high, With Christ my Savior and my God, With Christ my Savior and my God,” completes the song.
To conclude, with mercy we draw near to God, with judgment we are drawn away. When David saw the mercy, he wanted God close to him. The emotions of man love mercy, it stabilizes them. Judgment rocks our world. Regardless, sometimes strict judgment necessitates itself. As with the Uzzah case, a certain familiarity with God’s nature brings an expedient movement from God. “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”Jonah 2:8.
Never presume against God’s treatment of a sinner, never judge grace, never refuse mercy, or assume a certain action from God. Instead, simply expect mercy for yourself; if it is refused or ignored, expect judgment. He is capable of assessing all situations with wisdom and accuracy, often blessing the most undeserved.
Finally, Paul says “I don’t think much of man’s judgment; I don’t judge my own self.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-4, (sliva version). Proverbs 25:2 teaches, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Men have a right to, and are required to use discretion in their table of organization; but God gets glory in concealing the matter. Mercy is God’s policy for relief from guilt even when guilt is real. It is new every morning, and His compassions fail not. Happy New Year!