He heard the voice of One speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim. (Numbers 7:89)
God’s voice of mercy calls to each individual person.
During his forty-year wilderness trek with the Israelites, Moses experienced numerous one-on-one interactions with God. However, on one particular occasion, when he entered the tabernacle to present himself before God, he heard God’s voice from a cloud positioned above the mercy seat.
Scripture describes the mercy seat as the sacred place Moses built as the cover for the Ark of the Covenant. “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. And you shall make two cherubim of gold…at the two ends of the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat…and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark.” (Exodus 25:17-21)
God promised to meet and speak with Moses “from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony” (Exodus 25:22). He also said, “I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat” (Leviticus 16:2).
Imagine, if you will, you are alone with God, entering His dwelling to speak with Him, then hearing His loving voice emanating from a place so uniquely sacred, beautiful, and symbolic—what a humbling, thrilling, indescribable, reverent worship privilege. And yet, God made that experience available to everyone.
The scene reminds me of the empty tomb after Jesus’ resurrection where two angels sat at both ends of where His body had lain. The empty space between them symbolizes our mercy seat. Jesus’ death and resurrection finished His work as our substitute sacrifice and enabled eternal reconciliation with the righteous and holy, yet loving and redeeming, God.
Jesus, whose name Emmanuel means God with us, is the Living Word of God. As the resurrected Savior, He embraces us as both the place of mercy and the voice from the mercy seat.
God fulfills His promise to meet us above the mercy seat each time we meet in His presence and listen to His Word. He is always there; He is always speaking, calling us closer. We have but to show up and listen.
Have you heard and experienced His voice of mercy?