Wednesday in the upper room the Ruth Bible study sisters reviewed our week and talked about such things as:
- kindness – Doing kind deeds on purpose can change my emotions.
- humility, that seemingly illusive characteristic. If you think you’ve got it – then maybe you don’t. Knowing who God is and knowing who I am creates an attitude of humility.
- the marriage supper of the Lamb of God – Jesus will provide the perfect white robe of righteousness for each of us. We can’t work for it, purchase it, or provide it ourselves. Whew, I’m relieved about that!
- Boaz, the kindsman-redeemer – He is a picture of Christ my Redeemer who paid in full the awful debt I owed.
We concluded our class thinking about the overshadowing wings of God. Not that God actually has wings, but His Word often presents us with a metaphor of being protected under the wings of our Lord. Boaz told Ruth, “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:12)
My dad was a farm boy and remembers how the hen and her chicks would be peacefully scratching the ground for food when the appearance of a circling hawk caused the hen to cluck to her little ones. They would scurry to her and huddle underneath her wings for protection. Compare that idea with God calling to us to run to Him for salvation, for protection, provision, or whatever our need is.
We then looked at the tabernacle of God in the wilderness. God gave Moses specific instructions how the entire structure was to be put together, specific sizes, materials, and characteristics (Exodus 25). The Ark of the Covenant (also called Ark of the Testimony), housed in the Holy of holies, was to be a representation of God’s presence in the midst of His people. In this amazing box, Moses put the Law of God, the 10 Commandments. The Law was a measuring line for the Israelites, a standard they would never be able to attain. But the box was covered by the Atonement Cover or Mercy Seat because mercy always covers the law. God knows our frame, that we struggle to do right and fail at it. He has made provision for us through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life.
The Mercy Seat was constructed with two cherubim attached, facing each other, and having their wings overshadowing it. God said it was there He would meet with Moses.
Psalm 91 tells about the secret place of the Most High, dwelling there in the safety of God’s presence and protection. The fourth verse says
“He will cover you with His feathers, and underneath His wings you will find refuge.”
First John 2: 2 declares Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He became the Mercy Seat, and it was to Him I ran when I needed to be redeemed and forgiven of my sins. He is still the One I run to when I need to be forgiven . . . again and again.
A pot of manna was later put in the Ark (Exodus 16) reminding me that Jesus provides my “daily bread,” whether that be food, finances, healing, instruction, or guidance.
The third item in the Ark was Aaron’s rod that bloomed (Number 17) It was the proof and God’s stamp of approval that Aaron was indeed chosen to be the High Priest. We Christians are called a kingdom of priests who go to the Mercy Seat and intercede for family, friends, and the world just as Aaron interceded for the nation of Israel.
What does all that mean? It means I run to the Mercy Seat for forgiveness. I run to the Mercy Seat for my daily needs. I run to the Mercy Seat to petition my Father on behalf of those near and dear to my heart. I run to the Mercy Seat because it there He meets with me. It is there I am sheltered under the overshadowing wings of my God. It is the safest place I can be.
Just like Ruth, I have come to take refuge under the wings of the Lord, the God of Israel. I’m running. I’m running! I’m running to the Mercy Seat!