Happy Valentine’s week!
Full confession, this and St. Patrick’s Day are so fun for me.
Both are so low pressure and happy holidays to just help lift our spirits when Winter is starting to get just a tad long.
This week I am dedicating the Journey to exploring an idea I read this morning.
Yes… these posts really are often birthed around 6:30 AM over coffee and my pile of books.
As I was praying from Stormie Omartian’s guide The Power of a Praying Grandparent (all details at end of post), I came across what she calls some “obvious signs of love” and I thought how perfect that would be for Valentine’s Day 2020 series.
Obviously, this will not be an in-depth study each day, so I am hoping you are piqued enough to explore a little more on your own <3
Feel free to use dictionaries, google, Bible apps, concordances, commentaries and/or the index for words in the back of a reference Bible.
Pray and see where God leads you to learn more about the word each day.
I know He has something specifically for each of us as we delve into learning.
Today’s sign of love in us is Mercy.
I love how God weaves ideas together as I read and pray and sip coffee at our kitchen table each morning.
I had jotted down this post idea as I worked through the morning prayer for our family and then I moved on to ponder my daily devotion and finished with my five pages of Bible reading for the year.
And there, smack dab in the middle of the passages in Numbers, I read about Moses going in to inquire before the Lord in the Tent of Meeting and how their conference table was always the Mercy Seat.
I may be having a moment.
My hope and prayer as I got the idea for our Valentine week look at love was to focus on how we see that quality in God and then how we can strive to live as He would lead us to love well.
Is there any more beautiful picture of God’s heart than the center of the Holy of Holies and seeing that it was the Mercy Seat?
Ok …. quick disclaimer because I just googled the Mercy Seat and the first thing that pops up is a 1988 song recorded by someone named Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I cannot make this stuff up. I do not know that we want to go down that rabbit trail!!!!
This is the world we live in, people….so let’s strive to focus on the beauty of God’s MERCY SEAT being the center of the Tabernacle!
SO….going to a reliable resource called blueletterbible.org…
we find that the Mercy-Seat is kapporeth in Hebrew and hilasterion in Greek.
It is the name of the lid or covering of the ark of the covenant (the place of remembrance of God’s covenant made with Israel).
In the Old Testament it means “covering” and in the New Testament it means “propitiatory” and so the idea is to cover guilt or to make atonement.
Think…two people exiting the Garden of Eden, now knowing fully what “shame” feels like and knowing that this was the “knowledge” they were rewarded by thinking God was holding out on them.
Think of their newly enlightened understanding of the shame that they should never have had to know had they obeyed, being fully covered in the skins of animals tailored by the God who created all of these and then killed to provide protection and dignity for His children.
In the ark were the two stone tablets with God’s laws on them which would be used to measure the obedience of God’s people. Laws are either kept or broken. When broken, we are “guilty” and since we are basically unable to “keep” 100% the laws…we are guilty.
On the Day of Atonement each year, the blood of a sacrifice was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat to intercept for the guilty. An animal. Killed to cover the shame.
We who follow Christ are covered by His Blood as He intercedes for our guilt.
Because God so loved the world that He sent His only Son.
That whosoever would believe in Him…whoever would acknowledge his or her sin and inability to ever fully and perfectly live a good and holy life and would accept the sacrifice of the only One who could…would have eternal life…eternal MERCY.
Mercy is God’s perfect love poured out on us.
He is just and He is righteous and He will not ignore sin, but praise Him….in our sin…He provides the way to Mercy.
Perhaps the red hearts we see popping up this week will remind us in our moments of weakness and distress of the characteristic of His love expressed through the Mercy of His salvation <3
“Give them obvious signs of love — such as mercy, forgiveness, patience, generosity of heart, acceptance, and encouragement…” page 36; Stormie Omartian, Power of a Praying Grandparent. Harvest House Publishers, 2016.