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Day 15 | Mercy Definition

Read Exodus 25:8–22; Hebrews 9

Mercy. The word is heard frequently. We sing it in our worship songs; mantras of mercy are hand-stitched onto throw pillows; prayers for traveling mercies go up, and protection is expected to come down. For a word so common, we can take for granted its multi-faceted implications. This attribute is one that God allows us to share with Him. One facet, only He can do personally, perfectly. We’ll look at that one today. Another facet, we are able to put on with the help of the Holy Spirit. This one we’ll explore tomorrow.

To fully appreciate God’s mercy, having a proper grasp of God’s justice is foundational. In order for God to be a good and just judge, proper payment must be made for breaking His holy law. The wages of sin is death. All are sinners, so all deserve that sentence. However, the fact that you are alive today is evidence of God’s unmerited mercy. He sees our helpless state apart from Him and compassionately gives us an opportunity to come to repentance, turn to Christ, and receive mercy.

In Exodus, we catch a clear glimpse of God’s mercy through His plan to make payment for sin. He asked the Israelites to build a tabernacle of worship. In the middle sat the Holy of Holies, and inside laid the Ark of the Covenant. The ark was a golden box hosting the 10 Commandments, which the people were expected to keep—hefty responsibility. The lid, which sealed the law into the box, was called the Mercy Seat. Annually, sacrificial blood was sprinkled there, sparing Israel from condemnation. On this throne of mercy, God took His seat. Picture it: mercy literally covered the law which God’s people could never fulfill.

The law condemned, but God generously dispensed mercy from His mercy seat. Ultimately, the law pointed to Christ, the only One who could fulfill it. In a perfect and final display of mercy, He took His place on the mercy tree, compassionately offering salvation through His shed blood on the cross. Oh, praise Him for the mercy tree!

Pray for 10 minutes