Jentezen Franklin - A Place for Mercy
Look with me in 1 Chronicles 28:10: "Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong and just do it. Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule..." Listen to this, "the houses, the treasuries, the upper chambers, the inner chambers, and for the place of the Mercy Seat, and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit of the courts and the house of the Lord and the chambers and the treasuries and all the dedicated things".
So the thing that I want you to see in this is that David is passing the baton. He's about to leave this world and die, and he, by the Spirit... it was interesting. That last verse said: By the Spirit, God gave him the plan for the tabernacle. So detailed were the measurements. So ingenious was the plan for the temple. So perfectly fitted together was this magnificent structure. You builders listen to this, that the Bible said there was not the sound of a hammer or tool of iron to be heard when the temple was put together. The measurements of the Holy Spirit given to David were so precise that they didn't even have to cut or hammer to make anything fit together. It just all came together without a tool of iron. It's astonishing that the Spirit of God knew exactly how to build the temple. And then he says, most importantly what I want to center on today, he says, "Make sure in the middle of everything," if you noticed it, "in the middle of everything, I want you to have a place, for the Mercy Seat".
The Mercy Seat, the Ark of the Covenant, we would call it, was the Mercy Seat where blood would be sprinkled seven times every day on the Mercy Seat. There was to be a place for it in the temple. You and I are the temple of the Holy Spirit now. This church is a temple. And we are to fill our temples with good things. We're to fill our temples with prayer. We're to fill our temples with the word of God. We're to fill our temples with service and consecration unto God and witnessing and all the things that we do as a church and individuals. But here's the message that I want to bring you: Make sure that in your temple, your life, your walk, your service to God, that you have among all of these other things and other compartments of your service to God, that you have a place for the Mercy Seat of God in your life.
You see, it's so important, in the busy work of the Lord, that we not forget to be people of mercy. It's the mercy of God that has brought us here today. And we are blessed and our families are blessed and our lives are blessed because of one thing, the mercy of God. His mercy endures forever and forever and forever, and I'm thankful for it. It was so real in David's life that he had messed up so bad that he had committed adultery, which was punishable by death according to the Old Testament law. He had murdered a man named Uriah and it was eye for eye, tooth for tooth, law system that said if you murder someone your life must be taken. But he had experienced the mercy of God over and over, give him another chance, give him another chance, and so when he affectionately refers to the Ark of the Covenant every other occasion, he calls it the Ark of the Covenant.
But when you get to the closing years of his life and particularly when he gives the instructions to his son, from that point forward, he changed the name of it from the Ark of the Covenant and he calls it the Mercy Seat. Because he personally and individually had been the recipient of the mercy of God giving him another chance, and he was so intimately aware of the fact that I should not be here but for the mercy of God that he stopped calling it the Ark of the Covenant and he said it's the Mercy Seat and it's only, there must be, in the temple, there must be a place for the Mercy Seat. The same is true for us. We can become hard, we can become religious, we can become people who judge, we can become people who put down other people and negative with our tongues on other people, or we can have in our life a place for the mercy of God, that every time we look at someone that we're about to damn or we're about to say they'll never be anything, instead we remember that we are, as the temple of the Holy Spirit, to always have in us a place of mercy, a place of mercy.
Inside the Mercy Seat was the pot of manna from the wilderness, and as long as it was under the mercy of God, it stayed fresh. It would have worms in it 24 hours later, but when they brought it in and put under the Mercy Seat, it stayed alive and it flourished. God is reminding us that always our needs will be met by His mercy. It's His mercy that you have clothes today. It's His mercy that you have food on the table. It's His mercy that you a home to go to. Don't ever take it for granted. It's His mercy that you have health and wealth. It's His mercy that you've got a car to drive. It's His mercy that people love you and care about you. And you don't take these things for granted. It'll make you a grateful person, a praising person, a thankful person. Has anybody been the recipient of the mercy of God? You've had Him give you another chance over and over and over again. Just take a moment and praise Him right where you are for His great mercy, His great mercy.
Aaron's stick that was dead, when they put it in the box where the Mercy Seat was, it started budding, and it had blossoms and buds of almonds. The dead stick began to produce fruit again because of the mercy of God. It's the mercy of God that takes our dead marriages and causes them to come to life again. It's the mercy of God that takes a life that's been broken and shattered and been through such severe trauma that it looks like it's over and they'll never smile again and they'll never have peace again and the family will never be again, but you can go through stuff, and if you can take what you've got left and put it at the feet of God's mercy, His mercy can bring dead stuff back to life. His mercy can heal your home. His mercy can heal the relationships in your life that the devil says are dead sticks. He can cause them to bud and He can say to you, "This bud's for you. I've got life where the enemy thought he would kill, because if you'll release mercy, I'll give you mercy". One more time praise God for His great mercy. Hallelujah for the mercy of God.
You know, the mercy of God is such a powerful thing that when the Ark of the Covenant fell because a wheel broke on the cart, Uzza reached up and tried to steady it, and when he did, he accidentally lifted the Mercy Seat off of what had... it had been covering and 50.000 Israelites dropped dead. It was God's way of saying under the old covenant, "Never uncover what my mercy has covered. Never lift off and begin to talk about and drag out what my mercy and my blood has washed away. Be careful how you uncover what the mercy of God", and that's why so many people have trouble, is because they keep going back and lifting the lid of God's mercy and pulling stuff out, and God says, "That brings death, but if you will let my mercy cover it, I'll give life where the enemy says there can be no life".
I thought about in Matthew Chapter 5, there are eight magnificent blessings that are proclaimed. The blessing is, "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for theirs is the sons of God. Blessed are the persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you when you're falsely accused of all manner of evil is spoken against you. Great will be your reward".
So what He has is, He has eight supernatural blessings, and He says blessed are you when you are poor in spirit and blessed when you mourn and blessed when you are meek, and you're blessed when you seek righteousness, and He says you're blessed when you're pure in heart. You'll see God. Peacemakers are blessed. They'll inherit the kingdom of God. Blessed are the persecuted and blessed are those who are falsely accused for my name's sake. But notice what He put right in the middle of it, four blessings on this side, four blessings on that side. But He said, most importantly, the balance of it all is, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain blessing". And the key to obtaining the blessings is you are a merciful person in the middle of everything.
See, when you go through persecution and stuff, keep the mercy of God. Don't start attacking the people that are attacking you just like they attacked you. Don't be just like they are, proud and boastful and all that, but keep mercy, and if you'll keep giving them mercy, God says, "I'll put blessings on you, eight blessings that the enemy cannot stop and cannot hinder". And that's the power of mercy. If you want mercy, listen, if you want mercy, you've got to give mercy. If you give mercy, you get mercy. That's God's law. Thank you. Give them a big hand. One of my favorite scriptures is in Micah Chapter 6 and Verse 8. It says, "O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you"? He says, number one, "I want you to do justice". And then He says, "I want you to walk humbly".
So He says these are the things. You stand for what's right. You do justice and you walk humbly, but right in the middle, love mercy, love mercy. Isn't that something? All you got to do to please God, all you got to do to be good in God's eyes, once you've received Jesus as your Savior, is do justice, walk humbly, and love mercy. Be a merciful, merciful person. Be mighty in mercy. Thank you so much. Give them a big hand. Love mercy. Right in the middle of your religion, love mercy. Right in the middle of what we teach and we preach and we sing, love mercy, because the world is broken. The world is messed-up. People all around us are desperately seeking for answers, and the thing that can change their life is if we can get them into the mercy of God.
The Bible talks about the Pool of Bethesda, and the word "Bethesda" in Greek means "house of mercy". Sick people were all around the pool of mercy, but nobody was getting in it, and Jesus walked up... notice how you get into the pool of God's mercy that heals you, Jesus. He's the way. And He said to a man who had been laying there 38 years, "Do you want to be healed"? And he said, "I have no man to put me in". And Jesus put him into the water. What I'm saying to you is Jesus is the way into God's mercy. When you receive Jesus, you step into the pool of God's mercy. He said, "I have no man to put me in the pool". And you see crippled, broken, hurting people. When we preach what we preach and it's not full of the water of mercy, all we do is produce a bunch of crippled people. But I'm telling you, if we can get people into the mercy of God, if we can get into the grace of God, if we can get them to confessing the truth that "I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus".
Even when you're going through the addictions and even when you're going through the struggles, just open your mouth and say, "His mercy endures forever. His mercy endures forever". He'll come right there in the trial, in the temptation, in the moment of testing and give you grace and give you mercy. God doesn't want you to give up. In the time of the Renaissance, Michelangelo was one of the greatest artists. He did sculpturing and he did paintings that, of course, to this day are renowned, and if you notice when he made sculptures or he made paintings of Moses, he did something strange, because he read from the Latin Bible and the translation was different from the original translation from Hebrew. In the Hebrew Bible, it says when Moses came off of the mountain, that his glory shone, was shining with the face with the glory of God. But the Latin Bible mistranslated that, and into their language it translated into "His face had horns coming off of it". His head had horns coming off.
So, therefore, if you see Moses he has horns coming out of his head. That's Moses. What's he doing? See the two horns? That's not bunny rabbit ears. That's horns. And Michelangelo put horns on him because of a mistranslation. Poor old Moses. Think about it. Forever labeled as a devil because of a misinterpretation. And I wonder how many times because we don't have enough mercy in our heart we hear something about somebody that we don't even know, we put it through our Latin translation, and by the time we get through with it, we paint some horns on their head. We don't even know them. We don't even know anything about them. We don't even know their heart, but we put horns on them. And we label them little devil juniors.
I'm telling you, Christians do this all the time to one another just because you hear something, just because somebody does something. If you're not careful, you're married, and you get in a little argument, you'll start thinking your wife is a she-devil and you'll paint horns in your mind. You'll think that's a devil. The devil's really fighting me this week. Listen, the only reason you don't have horns is because you got dehorned by the blood of Jesus Christ, and if you want that mercy to keep coming to you, you got to give it Just because you have argument with somebody in your family, you just paint horns on them. There's no mercy, there's no mercy. You've got to forgive. You judge them and paint horns on them. The more you understand that we need to quit demonizing one another, we need to have mercy and realize they're just a person.
They need forgiveness. I've got to give mercy. You got people that ripped you off, people that stole from you, people that cheat you, people that lie on you. You can either get bitter and mad and label them as a devil and put horns on them — I'm not talking about being naive and letting people run all over you and use you. You have to stand for what's right. But at some point you know whether or not you are being merciful as far as forgiving. And you have to give mercy. You have to keep a place of mercy in your Christian walk. I don't want to be a mean Christian. I don't want to be an angry Christian. I don't want to be a Christian who goes around and is ugly to people. But, oh, God, help us to have a place of mercy, that when we hear someone is struggling with something, someone is going through something, that there's a tender place in our heart that understands: the longer you live, the more you understand this thing is only by the mercy of God will I make it, only by the mercy of God am I kept, and only by the mercy of God am I holy.
Shout amen, somebody. It's so important. It's so easy for us to look at people we don't agree with and, you know, we get all spiritual, get a judgmental attitude and wipe people out, people who have messed up, people who have been divorced, people who have failed, people who, you know, have failures in their life, and we just begin to trash them, trash them with our tongues and with our attitudes. We need to remember that we need a place of mercy, that before we speak or before we write something on the Internet and attack somebody, you better check your own life out and say, "Lord, I need a place of mercy, and if I want it, I've got to give it".
You know, when you start looking down your nose at people and always want to pull people down, I was thinking about this, when my kids were younger, Cherise and I would take them to the beach, and one of the things the girls loved to do is they loved to go crabbing. We called it "crabbing". And what you do is you get a little flashlight and a little plastic bucket and a little spoon or shovel, little small one, plastic one from the dollar store, and you go out at night and you shine the flashlight on the beach and you look for little eyeballs, and you'll see the little crabs and you quickly run over and you catch them, you put some sand in the sand bucket and you keep filling it up with the crabs.
One time the kids asked me, said, "Dad, where's the lid? They're going to get out". But I noticed something. They won't ever get out. You know why? Tell you what I noticed. Every time there would be one that would keep trying, keep trying, and he would get on top of the sand and he would get almost to the top and he would get on top of the other crabs and use them as steps, and he would reach up, and just when it looked like he was going to pull himself out, there was always one down at the bottom who would reach right up, grab him by the leg, and pull him down and say, "No way, bubba. You're going to get back down here with the rest of us mudslingers in the grime and the grit. You're not getting out of here. If I'm not getting out, you're not getting out".
And there's a lot of crabby Christians that just when somebody starts doing good, just when God starts helping them and just when they start climbing out, always got some Christian who will reach up and grab them and want to put them down and pull them down. I don't want to be a crabby Christian. I want to be the kind of person that pushes them on over and says, "If you get out, I can get out. If you can do it, I can do it". Why do we want to be that kind of person that pulls people down? Mercy lifts people up. Mercy says, "Give them another chance". So important that we understand the concept of mercy. Just as people start doing good, have mercy. The the nearest you will ever be to God on earth is when you're showing somebody mercy. He dwells above the Mercy Seat between the wings of the cherubim.
In Greek mythology, Xanthos said to one of his subjects, Asaph, "Bring the most terrible thing in the world to dinner tonight". And you know what he brought? A tongue, a cut-out tongue. And he said to him the next night, "Bring the best thing in the world tonight". And the next night, guess what he brought? Another tongue. Because the truth is, your tongue can be the most wonderful thing to a person who is broken and devastated and crushed and messed-up, or your tongue can be the most terrible destroying thing in the world, and it's up to you, and if your tongue is a tongue of mercy, it will be one that lifts up, and if your tongue is a tongue of judgmentalism, it will be one that pulls down and tears down. And you better have mercy, because without it, you won't get it. Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.
I close with this. In the Renaissance of Rome, after the beautiful city of Rome was trampled, the reason they were able to build such magnificent structures was they invented cement. But after Rome was conquered by the nomads and torn into ruins and devastated, they never taught the next generation the formula for making cement. And so even when their captivity was over, they couldn't rebuild the city back, and it wasn't until the 1700's that a man from England showed up and he knew how to make the formula that would cause there to be cement, and they were able to rebuild their lives. It's so critical that we teach a new generation about the amazing mercy of God because life and Satan will tear down your marriage and tear down your dreams and tear down your relationships and your family, and the truth is when things crumble and fall, you can rebuild your life. You can have another chance. It's called mercy. Mercy will come and mercy will restore and mercy will heal and mercy will rebuild your life.