Jentezen Franklin - Great Mercy
I want you to look with me to 1 Chronicles 8. I'll begin reading with verse ten. I preached last Sunday on "Great Grace". That's a biblical phrase. "Great grace was upon them all," in the book of Acts. And today, I want to preach Part Two, and I want to call this message, "Great Mercy", because grace gives you what you do not deserve but mercy holds back what you do deserve. And we need both. We need great grace that gives us what we don't deserve... mercy, forgiveness, blessing, favor; all those things that we can't earn, He gives it to us. But then, mercy is different. Mercy holds back what we do deserve... the judgment, the condemnation. It holds it back.
And I want to talk about "Great Mercy" today. Verse ten, "Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it. Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers," notice this, "and the place of the mercy seat". David told Solomon, he said, "I want you to build the house of the Lord; and here's the perfect blueprints. There won't be the sound of a tool of iron or a hammer. It's going to be so perfect, the blueprints that I give you, that everything will be according to the pattern. There's a pastern for the porch. There's a pattern for the chambers. There's a pattern for the vestibule. And listen. There is a place and a pattern for a place for the mercy seat".
The mercy seat, another name, biblical name for it, is the Ark of the Covenant. It was the God box. The top was the mercy seat. But inside of that box was three things. It was Aaron's rod that budded. It was a dead stick that God brought into, back to supernatural restoration in life when it got in the presence of God's mercy. And then, there was a pot of manna that would turn to worms. Every 24 hours, the manna would turn. They couldn't store it up. But they put some in a jar and they put it inside, under the mercy of God. And under the mercy of God, that which would have been corrupted, it stayed fresh. It stayed alive.
And then, there was the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments that killed when it was given on the mountain, the Ten Commandments that when Uzzah lifted the mercy seat on one occasion accidentally - The Bible said 70.000 people died with a plague because the mercy was not covering the law. And it's interesting that when the Philistines stole the Ark of the Covenant, and David finally got it back, two things were missing. The manna was missing and the rod that budded was missing. The only thing left was the Ten Commandments. And the point that I'm making to you is this... one of those commandments to David was, "You shall not commit adultery". But if all you have is law, you can't live it. You've got to have the mercy. You've got to have the grace of God. You've got to have the law written on your heart, it's not enough to have it on stone.
I'm saying to you today that if you want restoration - That dead stick that had no life, when it spent the night, 24 hours inside of that box near the mercy of God, it came alive. If we want to see people restored, we've got to have a place of mercy in this church. If you want to see God's provision, the manna, you've got to have a house of mercy. If you want to see the law turn into something that gives life instead of something that brings death, you've got to have a place of mercy. I want to give you a couple of thoughts very quickly. I would like for - I just need nine volunteers to run up here on the stage with me as quick as you can. Just - And give 'em a big hand as they come. This takes a lot. Nine, quick. It doesn't matter who you are. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.
Now, I want to show you something about the mercy of God. The Beatitudes. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit". Then He said, He gives nine blessings. "Blessed are they that mourn; they'll be comforted". And then He says, "Blessed are the meek; they'll inherit the earth". And then, He says, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled". He says something in verse seven that I'll come back to. Then He says, "Blessed are the pure in heart. They shall see God". Nine blessings. He says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God". Then He says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake". And then He says, "Blessed are those who are reviled and put down for My sake falsely".
He puts four blessings over here, four blessings over there, and right dead in the middle He says, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy". He says, "Whatever you're preaching, whatever kind of ministry, whoever you're ministering to, the broken, the mourning, those people who are being persecuted, those people who are going through..". "I don't care what kind of ministry you have going on in My house; make sure that you put right in the middle of everything that you're doing, everything that you're preaching, everything that you're singing, everything that you're saying... mercy, mercy, mercy".
Blessed are the merciful. These don't work if you don't have that in the middle. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Now all of you leave but you three, and give 'em a big hand. Thank you so much. Then there's this verse in Micah 6. It says, "What does God want from you? What does God require from of you but," watch this, "to do justly, to walk humbly". But right in the middle, what does it say? "...to love mercy..". He says, "If you want to please Me, do justly, live right, live clean, live pure, do what's right, obey the word, and don't get proud about it and don't get arrogant about it and don't get self-righteous about it and look down on everybody 'cause you're so holy; walk humbly, do justice, walk humbly... But right in the middle, if you want to please Me, love mercy".
Love mercy. Mercy holds back what people deserve. It says, "I'm a merciful person," and God says, "That's the three things that you do if you want to please Me". Give 'em a big hand. Thank you so much. God gives us balance. He gives us that balance that right in the middle, not just mercy but love to be merciful, love to be merciful. One of the great miracles in the New Testament happened at a place called the pool of Bethesda. The pool of Bethesda is where a man, for 38 years, lay paralyzed. It's interesting that it's a place that the Bible said had five porches which represents the five-fold ministry: the office of the apostle, the office of the prophet, the office of the evangelist, the office of the pastor, the office of the teacher. And these five-fold ministries, they cannot do anything for the impotent, for the crippled, for the broken person until somebody picks him up and puts him in the water.
And the pool was called Bethesda, which means house of mercy. All we will produce with our ministry is broken people who are impotent, who cannot get over the breaking that they've been through; and they'll lay in our house, year after year, until we can get them into the mercy of God. Somebody's got to put 'em into mercy. We can't be mean. We can't be hateful. We can't be judgmental. We've got to be a house of mercy. The church needs to be baptized in mercy. We've got a room for treasures, we've got a room for inner chambers, we've got a room for porches and vestibules, David said. But you make sure when you build God a temple that you have a place for mercy. It holds back what people deserve. Hallelujah. He said, "Make it out of pure gold".
Where did the blood go? It went on the mercy seat. If there was no mercy seat, there was no splattering seven times of the blood. If we don't have great mercy in this church, then there won't be any of the blood of Jesus Christ and the overcoming power of the blood on this ministry. The more that we provide a mercy seat, the bigger our mercy seat gets, the more the blood of Jesus comes to save that which is lost. Make a place for it. I have experienced it in my life. I want mercy. I want it not to be left out of the equation.
Why did David get mercy when he committed adultery? I believe it was because he had mercy on one of Saul's last living relatives who was named Mephibosheth, who was a crippled boy who could not help himself. And judgment said, "You kill all the lineage of the previous king, and that's his last seed; it's Mephibosheth, he's kin to Saul. You ought to kill him, David". But the Bible said that David brought him into the temple or into the palace and put him at his table and fed him and took care of him. And I believe, I can't prove this, but I believe that the reason that judgment did not hit David and wipe him out when he messed up with Bathsheba and killed her husband in an attempt to cover up his sin, the reason God gave him mercy, meaning holding back what we deserve is because he showed mercy to a crippled boy who couldn't help himself. And God saw it and God said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy".
Tim, come up here and help me just a moment. The mercy seat had on one end a cherubim. Stand right there and just hold your arms up like this, both of them. The Bible said that Moses, when he made it, was commanded to take gold and a hammer and beat that cherubim to stand guard over the mercy seat. And then there was another angel, which I am, on the other side. And the Bible said, this is so important, that their wings touched, but they did not look eye to eye. The Bible said that God commanded Moses that their heads would be looking down on the mercy seat. In other words, I don't have to see eye to eye to get in agreement with you on everything. If I will see you through the blood and through the mercy of God, we can see each other through the blood, see each other through the mercy, and then we touch and agree.
And God said, "I'll dwell above the mercy seat and the cherubim's wings, wherever people get together". How good and how pleasant it is for men and brothers to dwell together in unity. They're not looking eye to eye on everything. They're seeing each other through mercy, through the blood, through the grace of God. And because of it, God says, "I'll dwell in that house. I'll dwell in that marriage. I'll dwell in that family. They won't always see eye to eye. They'll have arguments and disagreements; but if they'll see each other through the mercy, see each other through the blood, I'll bring unity. I'll bring healing. And My glory will fill that house". Somebody give Him praise if you believe it. Somebody give Him praise if you believe it.
I say to the body of Christ, I say to my Methodist friends, we don't have to see eye to eye. I'm Pentecostal. I'm spirit-filled. I pray in the spirit. I shout. I raise my hands. I rejoice out loud, even in public places. But it's okay. We don't have to see eye to eye. Let's just see each other through mercy. Let's see each other through the blood and let's come together. We need each other. The Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholic; anybody preaching Jesus, preaching His grace, His blood, the death, the burial, the resurrection is my brother, is my sister, and I'm not going to fight you. Black and white; we don't have to agree on everything. Let's see each other through the mercy, through the blood. That's what America needs. That's what the world needs. God, have mercy on us.
Some of you don't understand what marriage is all about, and I just gave you what it's all about. You're not going to see eye to eye on everything. So what a family has to do is see each other through mercy, through blood. "You hurt me, but I love you. You disappointed me, but I forgive you. You broke my heart, but you're mine and I'm yours. Entreat me not to leave you. Your people are my people, your God is my God". No, we're not perfect people, perfect families, perfect ministries, but if we'll see each other through the blood, His glory will come on our imperfection and make us something beautiful for His glory and His namesake.
Everybody take a praise break at every campus and thank Him for the mercy. It's on your house. It's on your marriage. It's on your children. Michelangelo, the only Bible he had to read was the Latin interpretation. The Latin interpretation of the Bible, when it talked about Moses being on the mountain and the glory of God coming on him and having to cover his face with a veil, in the Latin Bible, there was a misinterpretation of the word glory. And instead of glory being on his face, it said they misinterpreted it in the Latin Bible to say that Moses had horns, two of 'em, coming out of his head. Well, we know what horns represent. He had two horns coming out.
Therefore, when you see any of Michelangelo's paintings, because of a misinterpretation, all of the classic, priceless paintings have Moses with horns on him. Here's my point: sometimes you hear something and you put it through your Latin interpretation; you hear something about somebody, all of a sudden, that person you're talking about, you put horns on 'em. Every time you think of that person, you have a picture painted in your mind of that person with horns 'cause somebody said something about 'em or you heard somebody say something about it, you heard a second-hand, third-hand something somebody said about 'em, and so you just, in your mind, paint horns on 'em and "they're the devil". And it takes a lot of de-horning to get the horns off of a person that you painted horns on in your mind.
I've come to preach to you that Moses didn't have horns. And there's a lot of people that you're painting horns on because you're not showing 'em mercy and you're not showing 'em grace and you're not showing 'em the love of God. And God is saying, "They don't have horns. You just don't have mercy". Because, listen to this, what one interpretation said was horns; God's interpretation said, "It's not horns; it's My glory. My glory's going to come upon that area of his life, so you get your horns off of him". Just because people don't agree with everything doesn't mean they have horns. You married that man; don't go around now saying, "That thing's got horns. Look at him". No; he's the same dummy you married. Come on. Look at him. Say, "Poor dumb thing". Come on. Look at him. Just say, "Poor ol' dumb thing".
She hasn't got horns either. I got less amens on that. She hasn't got horns either. De-horn 'em. Show mercy. See 'em through the blood. God, forgive us. Love again. Or you can keep the horns on and fight for another week. Do you want to be reconciled or do you want to be right? 'Cause sometimes you can be right and be right lonely. Sometimes it's just better to be a peacemaker; say, "I see you through the blood, I see you through mercy. I'll need it down the road. I'll be the one guilty. Deep down inside, even though you won't admit it, I know you know that you were wrong. And even if you won't say it..." I need Cherise right here right now. "Even if you won't say it, I see you through mercy. Because next week it'll probably be me". Probably.
I'm almost done. I'll close with this thought. But in Greek mythology, Zanthrys invites Aesop over for dinner, these Greek gods. And he says, "I want you to bring for a present the most wonderful thing in the world". And that night, Aesop brought, as a gift, in a package, a tongue. A tongue. And said, "This is the most wonderful thing in the world". He invited him back the next night and he said, "Bring the worst thing in the world".
The next night, Aesop brought a tongue, because he knew that the tongue could be the best thing in the world or the worst thing in the world, because death and life are in the power of the tongue. It's the most wonderful thing in your life or it is the worst thing in your life, and it depends on how you use it. What you speak, whether you show mercy, when you show love, what you say - Your tongue will either become the most wonderful thing for your family to hear or the worst thing. And my prayer is "Touch my lips with a coal from off the altars of heaven".
I don't know who I'm preaching to today exactly, but God has great mercy for you. There's a place of mercy - My body is His temple and there's a place of mercy that needs to be in all of our temples for people who mess up. And I don't know what you need today, but I feel led to tell you there's not just great grace, there is great mercy God can hold back. Maybe, and this is what I really felt, that it's like the Egyptian army and Pharaoh. You got out but now something from the past, the chariots are rumbling and it's trying to come back and get you.
Something from your past, some shame, some guilt, some mess-up, some failure, and it's coming; that Pharaoh's army's coming back to enslave you. But the Lord said to Moses, "Look; I want you to see this". And he turned around and the Bible said that the Red Sea swallowed them up. That's mercy, holding back what you deserve. Then, once he got through, God said, "I'm moving My hand," and the enemy was swallowed up. I love what God told Moses. He said, "These enemies you shall see no more. My mercy has forever held back what you deserve". The Red Sea, the blood of Jesus has swallowed up your past and the mercy has held back what you deserve and grace has given you what you don't deserve. And you can be totally restored and renewed. There is in this house, and it is at every campus, a place of mercy for you.