Monday, 26 October 2020
“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished…” -Exodus 34:6-7
In Exodus 34, when God came down in a pillar of cloud before Moses, He declares His name - which is His very nature – that of compassion, mercy and tender love towards his creation. The glorious character of God is revealed in this portion of scripture – His eternal, unchanging nature.
Compassionate and Gracious: It was God’s compassion and His grace that delivered the Israelites from slavery. Similarly, moved by compassion for the fallen world in which we live, God sent His beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place, that we may be redeemed from bondage through the blemishless blood of the Lamb (1Peter 1:19). When we believe in Christ and proclaim Him as Lord and Saviour over our lives, we are saved through His divine mercy and grace (Ephesians 2:8). Just as our Heavenly Father has been compassionate to us, we need to be compassionate to those in need.
Longsuffering: Every time the Israelites rebelled against God - at the waters of Marah (Exodus 15), at Massah and Meribah (Exodus 17) and on numerous other occasions, God’s forbearance was revealed in providing for all their needs. God’s forbearance towards us is demonstrated in that out of ‘the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience’ he desires that every man turn in repentance to Him (Romans 2:4) Just as God has been patient with us, we should have the same longsuffering attitude when we minister to others.
Faithful: In spite of all their shortcomings, God was true to His promise and led the descendants of Abraham into a land overflowing with milk and honey (Jeremiah 32:22). Through the Old Testament Prophets, He gave His promise of the Messiah who would redeem them from sin. One of the greatest attestations of the faithfulness of God in our lives is the realization of the promised Messiah in His Son Jesus Christ, who came to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). We serve a faithful God, who watches over His word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). Let us stand on every promise of God prophesied over us, knowing that He who promised is faithful to accomplish it.
Forgiving: Even when the Israelites rejected God their Deliverer and worshipped the golden calf, God forgave all who repented. God’s provision of forgiveness is available to us through faith in Jesus. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses….” (Ephesians 1:7) Further John reminds us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Dear brother/sister, if you have strayed from the Father’s will, return today in repentance, humbling yourself and receive the Father’s forgiveness and restoration.
Righteous: We are often too eager to focus on the loving character of God and downplay the righteousness and holiness of God. Throughout history, we see that when Israel rebelled against God and did not repent, He delivered them into the hands of their enemies. God cannot overlook the wickedness and sin of an unrepentant generation, because He is the Righteous Judge - the Holy One. For those who reject the sacrifice of Christ, there is an inevitable eternal judgment that awaits. This is a serious issue! Let us not make light of it, but share the gospel message with others and pray with a burden that all may receive His grace and mercy and enter His eternal rest.
As we dwell on the benevolent character of God, let it be our heart’s desire to be so transformed that we become bearers of His nature.
Quote for the Day:
By knowing His name is also meant an experimental acquaintance with the attributes of God, which are everyone of them anchors to hold the soul from drifting in seasons of peril. – C H Spurgeon