“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.”
Psalm 85: 10-11
Numbers 5-7 (Psalm 41)
In essence these chapters deal with holy relationships: within the community; between individuals; within marriage; and with God. They cover physical, emotional and spiritual health. They may seem obscure or over serious but remember the context and time in history. Remember also that God calls us to be holy as He is Holy and to be holy in all that we do (1 Peter 1: 15-16); this is God’s call upon His people then and now. The vow and practice of the Nazarite sums this up perfectly. The Nazarite is a person (man or woman - 6: 2), who has marked out a special time of separation and consecration for devotion to God. This would be for a restricted period of time but some would take the vow for their lifetime. The restrictions for a Nazarite applied to all the people all of the time, they were simply more serious during the special time of devotion. So, the people were to be holy, set apart for God. In spite of all the directions they would still not meet the standard God required and so the Tent of Meeting with the Holy of Holies was given to them. We see Moses, as the people’s representative, entering the Tabernacle and meeting with God, hearing his voice from above the Mercy seat. The Hebrew word for Mercy seat is ‘kapporeth,’ a word that refers to a sacrifice that reconciles and leads to peacemaking; atonement. Once a year, the High Priest conducted a special ceremony of forgiveness and dedication at the mercy seat. God’s ‘shekinah’ glory shone out like a glowing light.
In Romans 3: 23-26 (where the Greek word for Mercy Seat is used), we see how the symbolism of the Mercy Seat is met in fullness in Jesus Christ. We are made holy once and for all by Jesus’ self-sacrifice (Hebrews 10: 10); He being our representative. The Mercy Seat, the cross, is where righteousness and mercy kiss, where love and faithfulness meet. God has made us holy by the blood of Christ, now He calls us into a life of holiness with right relationships within His Church, with others, in marriage and vitally with Him. We are now incredibly blessed with the ability to meet with Him, any time, any place, anywhere; God’s glory is to shine out of our lives!
The Question of Application
Consider your relationships within the Church, with others and with God. Do you need to take steps of reconciliation and restitution? Do you need to give yourself to the Lord for a special period of devotion (Lent is just around the corner)? Know that you can, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ
Allow me to pray the Priestly blessing over you (echo this in your hearts):
May The Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace. May the Lord put His name upon you and bless you. Amen
From Numbers 6: 22-27
Depth of Mercy sung by the Soundforth Singers
Let your Mercy Rain by Chris Tomlin
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.