Thursday, July 9, 2009

Enduring Mercy

The sanctuary echoed with hundreds of voices singing, “His love endures forever!” A deep voice thundered the words from the seat behind me. A well trained soprano harmonized from across the room. The words were barely audible from the heartfelt whispers of the frail, elderly woman beside me. As I listened to the praises of the young, the old, the broken and the joyful, I was overwhelmed by the reality of God’s faithfulness to mercifully inhabit our unworthy hearts.

Thousands of years ago, there was another sanctuary filled with similar praises from the lips of God’s servants. After seven years of diligent and meticulous labor, Solomon’s workers completed the construction of the Lord’s glorious temple. With joyous expectation, the elders and priests gathered together to give thanks and dedicate the magnificent structure.

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever."
Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.
-2 Chronicles 5:13-14 (NIV)

The presence of God descended in a cloud, filling every crevice of that temple with His awe-inspiring glory. The instruments were silenced. The praises ceased. The Spirit of the Living God so overwhelmed His servants that they were unable to stand in His presence. What had simply been a spectacular building was instantly transformed into a sacred temple.

It is not our worthiness that woos our heavenly Father to the temples of our hearts. It is His abundant mercy. According to The Bible Knowledge Word Study: Joshua-2 Chronicles (Cook), The Hebrew word translated “love” in the worshippers’ song (2 Chronicles 5:13) refers to the mercy and kindness God faithfully bestows upon His covenant people.

As Christians, we come before a holy and righteous God only by the covenant blood of His beloved Son. It is God’s mercy that brought His son to earth. It is His mercy that sustained our Lord on the cross. It is God’s mercy that makes a temple worthy of His holy presence.

Beloved, regardless how ordinary or unworthy you may feel, by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of His Spirit, you have been mercifully transformed into a sacred temple of a Holy God.

O, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever! (Psalm 118:1 NKJV)

-Mindy Ferguson