“And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you… You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place… Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood… And he overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside. And he made two cherubim of gold. He made them of hammered work on the two ends of the mercy seat, one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.” Exodus 25:18,20-22; 26:34; 37:1-2,7-9
God gave explicit instructions to Moses for His tabernacle, and Moses conveyed them to the skilled craftsmen who would do the work. Bezalel, privileged to be called by name, filled with the Spirit of God, ability and intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship, and appointed for this task, set to work. (Exodus 31:1-7)
The ark with its cherubim was the place where God would meet with man, within the Holy of Holies, and its design illustrated the meaning of this most hallowed relationship. It would be made beautiful and of pure gold, would hold the tablets containing the law, and would be visited once a year by the high priest, where he would bring the blood of sacrifice and meet with God to atone for the people. The blood that would ‘cover the law’ represented our Savior’s blood that was shed for us, opening the way for us to know and be united with God through His mediation. The cherubim who ‘guarded’ this mercy seat were where I want always to be– facing toward God’s presence, sustained by His grace. (Hebrews 9:3-7,11-15)
“Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
my beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
with joy shall I lift up my head.
Lord, I believe thy precious blood, Which, at the mercy seat of God, Forever doth for sinners plead, For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
Jesus, be endless praise to thee,
whose boundless mercy hath for me,
for me a full atonement made,
an everlasting ransom paid.” ~ Count Nicholaus Zinzendorf (1739)
Oh Lord, may I stay connected to You, never forgetting what You have done for me, ever gazing in gratitude at You, at the place where Your mercy and love meet man and Your life fulfills the law. May I live victoriously above the shame and punishment I deserve, sustained by Your gracious gift of salvation, my life a pure picture of Your righteousness that overshadows and overcomes the world. As I go about my days, may I walk in love as You loved me, and gave Yourself a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God for me. (Ephesians 5:2)