When things looked dark during the days of Jeremiah, when he was having problems and when it seemed as though the nation was gone, the record says, “A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary” (Jer. 17:12). We ought to think about some things concerning this passage. The first time that we find this type of reference about the throne of God is in First Kings 22:19. In it, Ahab appeals to Jehoshaphat to join with him in battle. They finally send for Micaiah after the false prophets prophesy. Micaiah appeals to the throne of the God on high in the realization that God is in control, and with all that the false prophets were saying, that was not going to change such! In Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah saw, “…also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple,” and Isaiah builds his entire prophetic book around the sovereignty and the authority of God. In John 12:32, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,” which is a reference to Him being lifted up on the cross, out of the grave and His ascension on high. In Acts 7, Stephen saw him standing at the right hand of the throne of God. John, the Revelator, sees several scenes of the throne (Rev. 4:2; 5:6-7, 13; 21:5). In Hebrews 1:8, it states, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.” Now, this is the reason that Jeremiah records this statement here. Look at the dark days. Place yourself in his situation with all of the problems with which Jeremiah is struggling. Then, there is an announcement of a high throne. God had not abdicated His throne. As dark as things looked, the fact remains—God was in control.
Note also the fact that not only is there the mention of the throne of the beginning, but it is also the place of our sanctuary, which suggests several things. First, this is the place of authority; this is where God gives directions and renders verdicts, which is exactly what God was doing. Jeremiah was having a problem—Judah was guilty of grievous sins. Thus, an announcement was made that there is the throne of God where authority still exists. God had made that verdict because of the sinfulness of Judah, and it was going to stand, because they were not going to repent. There would not be any change in that. Therefore, that authority was going to stay there. Second, the word “sanctuary” is a reminder of a place of refuge (cf. Num. 35:6, 11-12, 26-27). The cities of refuge were a sanctuary of shelter and protection. This statement in Jeremiah is in reference to the throne of God. Thus, when they submitted to the will of God and accepted His verdicts that He gave therefrom, they would find a place of refuge and protection in the throne of God and where God would save them from the avenger.
Now, let us notice what the Hebrew writer wrote:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:14-16]
Here we have the priesthood and mediation of Christ. Yet, notice there is the combination of the throne with the priesthood (He is our high priest—one who understands our problems, knows our infirmities, has been tried as we have and yet sinless). This is the throne to which Jeremiah refers. That same throne is still there. It is “the throne of grace.” That is the reason that this throne is a place of refuge, safety and security. God made such possible through the priesthood and mediation of Christ, which is the reason that we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace.”
Therefore, here is something we need to learn. From the very beginning (Gen. 1:1), God has established His throne. Down the windings of history and the changing of time, that throne has always been there. When Egypt grew to be a mighty nation, had Israel in its clutches of bondage, that throne was always there. Because of that, God delivered the nation from bondage. When the northern kingdom went into idolatry and Assyria grew into a mighty nation, overran the northern kingdom, that throne was still there. When Judah sinned, turned aside into idolatry, remained impenitent and went into Babylonian captivity, that throne was still there. When the Jewish nation nailed the only begotten Son of God to the cross, thinking that they had defeated Christ and brought an end to all that He had in mind, He was lifted up from the grave, lifted up to the right hand of God to “the throne of grace,” and there made king and priest, which is what Stephen saw in Acts 7. Facing death when they were about to stone him, he lifted up his eyes and saw the Son of God standing at the right hand of God, enthroned, knowing that Jesus had conquered death and that His blood redeemed from sin. Stephen closed his eyes in peaceful sleep without fear because he knew that throne was secure. This is the throne of Hebrews 4:14-16—“the throne of grace,” where Jesus is both priest and king. See the throne in Revelation 1 and the one coming out from that throne who is the fountain of living waters. This is what we need to remember today.
We are living in troublesome times. Who knows what a day may bring forth? How uncertain are things? Yet, in the midst of all of this, for the child of God, there is a throne that is secure, which is “a throne of grace,” and whatever may be our burdens or heartaches or trials, the invitation is to come boldly to this throne of grace, and there we may find mercy and grace to help in time of need. Passages as these are the reason that the Bible talks about the peace of God that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). They are the reason that Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). That throne is still secure today. I do not know what tomorrow holds or what it may bring, but I do know that this throne is secure, and that throne is my sanctuary, my place of refuge, protection, grace and mercy, where I will always find help for every kind of need, because that is the promise that God made. I am glad that my future does not depend upon the changing thrones of earth and the changing times and rulers of the lands of this world. If it did, who could know what tomorrow might bring or what there might be, but my future does not depend upon that. My future depends and rests upon the throne that is high and glorious, which is a sanctuary.