5 Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. 6 The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.” – Exodus 34:5-7 NLT
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty,” – Exodus 34:6-7a ESV
Steadfast – steady, fixed in direction, steadily directed, strong in purpose, unwavering, fixed in place
“steadfast love” heced: mercy, faithful loving-kindness
Clearly important because God says He is abounding in it (continually giving them more than enough of it) and keeping it (maintaining, guarding, protecting).
This clearly becomes a part of the relationship with God. Moses quotes it back to God in Numbers 14:18.
David prays it in Psalm 86:15.
The prophet Joel saw it as an essential truth in our relationship with God. This is also the context Peter saw when he quoted this prophecy in Acts 2.
“12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” – Joel 2:12-13
“Be merciful even as your Father is merciful,” – Luke 6:36
For pastor James and the early church it was an essential ingredient of their view of God and the context for their relationship with God during difficult days.
”We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” – James 5:11
What do we learn?
God is faithful in compassionate, merciful, loving-kindness.
What should we do?
- Turn from wrong and receive forgiveness for it.
- Read today’s verses.
- Write out what you believe to be true about God’s love.
- Think about this before you pray.