“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-8 (ESV)
Moses had a unique relationship with God. He had multiple encounters with the LORD and as a result, ended up with a face that glowed! During one of these encounters, God appeared before Moses and without prompting began to speak the words found in the verses quoted above.
When we give a short description of ourselves, we emphasize the characteristics that are most important to us. A self-description gives a window into a person’s priorities.
This valuable verse contains God’s self-description and teaches us much about how God sees Himself.
The first thing God says about Himself is that He is merciful and gracious. He is a God slow to anger, and abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness. It should bring us comfort to recognize that God starts the description of Himself with words that describe an attitude of mercy, grace, patience, and love. He didn’t start this description talking about His power or His omniscience. His first priority was to describe His attitude toward us…His creation. First and foremost, He wants us to know that He is a God of mercy and grace.
God is telling us that He is ready and willing to forgive our sins.
As respected healthcare professionals, we are still very capable of becoming entrapped in sin. If we find ourselves caught in the bondage of sin, we can mistakenly think of God as the impatient judge who has finally had enough of our sin and is ready to “throw the book” at us. We can begin to believe that we can’t possibly go back to God yet again to ask for forgiveness.
Yet in this self-description, that’s exactly what God wants us to do…to come humbly before Him freely admitting our sin and asking for His forgiveness.
Remember, God is always ready to forgive us if we come to Him with the right attitude.
Prayer: Lord I am so thankful that You are a God of mercy and grace.