Disobedience brought death into the world. You’ve always told us that. From the very beginning you told us that if we listened to You and trusted that Your plans for us were full of good things, that we would be with you forever and never know death. All we ever had to do was trust you. But we got tricked into thinking we couldn’t trust you, didn’t we? And it brought us nothing but fear. Lord, you never wanted us to be afraid of you. It was only after we had been shown what disobedience looked and felt like in the Garden that we became afraid.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
I don’t know why we’ve always tried to make it so complicated. You’ve kept it simple from the beginning God. From the time of Adam and Eve, you showed us that we had brought death to ourselves and to the world. When Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness, they tried to cover themselves with leaves, but you took animals, killed them, and gave the skins to them to cover themselves. You showed them in an action that the knowledge of their nakedness as shameful to them brought to them death. Only death could cover it.
And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
With Moses things were no different. You met him on the mountain. You told him that you were trustworthy and that if he trusted you Moses could lead all the people into trusting Him in freedom. You gave him some rules to show him how righteous and good and fair you are, and how breaking those rules would only bring death. You showed him and he believed you.
And then you showed the people how to remember your promises and how to remember you are trustworthy. You gave them the plans for the tabernacle. And every inch of the tabernacle declared your promise that you are trustworthy and that your plans for people were to be clothed for “glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2). You laid out your grand design for humanity with the designs of the tabernacle, completed with mercy at the center where you met face to face with mankind.
34 You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place.
The mercy seat covered the arc of the testimony. The arc held the law, but the testimony of it was not the law, but Your desire to show us that disobedience brings death, but trusting You brings mercy. It was a physical representation of your desire for us to be together, for us to trust you. Your mercy covers the law. Your mercy has dominion over the law. Your mercy is the answer, but the sacrifice of blood is meant to show you that we understand what the knowledge of good and evil brings to us and to the world. It brings death. When we understand that we can receive your mercy.
I receive your mercy new today, Lord. Sin brings death, but you have brought mercy through your son, Jesus, who had victory over sin and death through his resurrection. I receive your mercy new today, Lord. Give me the grace to receive your mercy new each moment by your Spirit in me.