The Privilege of Knowing God
“The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: ‘The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the fathers’ iniquity on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.’” Exodus 34:6-7
When you think about God, what comes to mind? Do you see a faithful, compassionate God who loves you? Do you see a condemning God who you feel you are constantly failing? Do you truly know God and His character and His nature? We can't truly love someone we do not know, and the way we get to know God and His character is through His Word. This passage describes who God is, and through knowing who He is, we can have great assurance of His compassion, grace, truthfulness, justice, and loving discipline.
We know God is a compassionate and gracious God. God isn’t some stoic being who doesn’t care about what we go through in life. Compassion at its core is care and sympathy. If you read through the gospels, we see many instances of Jesus' compassion to undeserving people, and God displays that same compassion for us.
God is also slow to anger and forgiving. We are never going to get it right in this lifetime. God knows this, and in spite of it, He sent His Son to die for our iniquities. We can also see from this passage that God is truth—He does not lie, and His promises always stand. We can trust His Word. The Word of God is as relevant today as it was at the time these words were penned; it is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). God is also just—He doesn’t ignore the injustice in the world, and He does not fail to discipline us. Knowing that gives us respect for Him and an awareness of our actions.
We can be discouraged and we can be down, but during these times, let’s remember who God is. We cannot lose His love. You are never too far gone. God is always there, and we can rest knowing we are in His hands.
Father, I thank You that through Your word I am able to know You. Thank You for Your compassion, grace, truth, and justice. I thank You that You are slow to anger and that Your love transcends comprehension. In Your grace, open my eyes so that I may know You more and more.
How do you view God? Spend time in Exodus 34. How does this change how you view God? What does Moses’ response to God tell us about who God is?
Chelsi Woods is the coffee-loving Content Manager for Whole Magazine and a writer for the Reformed Outlook. She is a Jesus-loving, tattooed soccer mom to a beautiful, blue-eyed 12-year-old girl and “Choo-Choo” to a 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece. Her hobbies include communicating in gifs, playing guitar, and bad dad jokes. Chelsi’s passionate pursuit is to teach women solid, Biblical truths focused on spiritual growth, loving God with our minds, all while glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.