The mysterious box called the Ark of the Covenant held several items. One was a bowl of manna. In Revelations, we find Jesus referring to the Hidden Manna. He says he will give you some of the hidden manna. My question is this: how is it hidden?
The Ark was a strange box that was carried around in the desert by the Children of Israel and was finally placed in the temple built in Jerusalem. The top of this box was called The Mercy Seat. Once a year, during a special ceremony, lamb’s blood was put on this Mercy Seat.
So the hidden manna was covered in mercy. We found Jesus to say that his food was to do the will of God. I offer that the reason the will of God may be hidden from us is because it is wrapped in mercy. We can recognize justice easily enough. Is justice, also, the will of God? Of course, it is.
But mercy is what God is really all about. We are called to act justly but we are called to love mercy. The will of God is wrapped in mercy. It is hidden in mercy. Do you find the will of God difficult to discern? Look at his mercy and you will discover his will.
What does this mean? If we would find the will of God, we will move in mercy toward others. By doing this, by having mercy on people, we act with God toward them. He is always being merciful toward each person. But sometimes, too often, we will not receive his mercy.
How do we receive mercy? By lowering ourselves. If you hold yourself high, usually in pride, you cannot receive mercy because mercy flows to the lowly in heart.
It is also true that mercy flows through those who are lowly in heart because they have received mercy. Now they are able to show mercy to others. Jesus said that he was lowly in heart.
Imagine a thirsty person who comes to a river. This river is full of cold, clear water. But this person stands there looking down at the flow. “I will not bow myself to get this water!” What a foolish picture. But we may be like this person. We may miss the mercy of God because we stand proudly above that mercy that only flows in the low place.
And so we may miss doing the will of God. We are willing to join in calling for justice. We are willing to point out the faults of others. We think ourselves better than others or we sort of pity them. We think showing mercy is a waste of time. What good will it do? There are so many people. Our help would not really matter.
I have seen two people in my life than showed mercy without any fanfare or expectation of reward. They did so in the worst of situations. One was in Detroit. He had a small mission outreach that helped children. These children were either neglected or from very poor families. He had what he called his breakfast club. He would provide breakfast food for children in the mornings. He did much more than this but that part really touched me.
Another person went to Beijing, China and began to help young people who had fallen out of the system. She helped them get into a place to stay and maybe get some work. They were done with education for whatever reason. She also created a shop than made bread and cakes. It eventually became a cafe and the kids were the workers. She did all this without any recognition.