Bible Verse: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:6
Scripture Reading: Exodus 34:5-9
It bothers me when people think they know who I am without the whole story. People may have an opinion of who you are, but you don’t want them to define you. The same is true for God. You may know who He is, but what does He want you to know about Him?
One of the first moments where God introduces Himself in the Bible is the story of Moses. The scene is Mount Sinai, and Moses is preparing for God to write down the Ten Commandments after the first set of tablets were destroyed. While writing down a set of rules, God creates the context for the rules by telling Moses a little bit more about who He is.
Allow me to paraphrase what God says in Exodus 34:6-9:
“My name is Jehovah. This means I am the eternal, unchanging, self-existing one. I am merciful and gracious. I’m very slow to get angry, overflowing in love and faithfulness for my people. I gladly forgive when people offend me or when they intentionally and consistently do things to harm me or my creation. But while I forgive, I’m still just. There must be consequences for sin. These consequences can be experienced and felt not only by you but by multiple generations.”
This is how God introduces Himself. This is the God who commands you to love and worship Him. Moses sees God for who He is; his immediate response is worship. Moses bows his head, worships the holy God, and then asks God to show His mercy by giving grace to a stubborn group of people (v.9).
John describes Jesus as a man full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Most men naturally tend to focus on one side of God. You may lean towards the side about the holiness and laws of God (truth), or you may lean towards the God who overflows in love (grace). But worship and love are possible when you see God in all His fullness.
God has revealed who He is and calls you to love and worship Him with your life. How will you respond to the greatness and goodness of God?
Prayer: Almighty God, help me to see more of the fullness of who You are. Expand my love for You and strengthen my worship of You.
Reflection: Do you tend to primarily see God’s anger at sin or His love and kindness? Look back at how God describes Himself in Exodus 34:5-9 and the complete picture of who God says He is. How does that change your perspective of Him?
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