A God Merciful and Gracious (Exodus 34:6–8) - Radical

A God Merciful and Gracious (Exodus 34:6–8)

“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.’ And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.”
– Exodus 34:6–8

The reason this passage is so significant in the Old Testament, not just in the book of Exodus, is because Moses had prayed that God would reveal and show his glory to Moses. And this is the revelation that God responded with, this glimpse of God’s glory and all of these different attributes that brought Moses to His face. So, I just want to encourage us to pray accordingly.

These Verses Compel Us to Exalt God’s Glory

This is the God you and I serve. The God who reigns as Lord and King over all. This is how He revealed His glory to Moses. This is how he reveals His glory to us, in His word. So we worship. Right now, let’s just worship. Oh, God, You are the Lord. You are Yahweh, the Creator God. You are holy, merciful, and gracious. We don’t deserve to be in Your presence right now. Oh, God, we don’t deserve to see Your glory. Yet, You have graciously revealed yourself to us. We praise You. The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious.

Thanking God for His Mercy

I think of where we would be right now if You were not slow to anger. If You were quick to anger, we would be cast away from You right now. We would be totally separated from You for all of eternity if You were not slow to anger. God, we praise you for being slow to anger in our lives, for being merciful and gracious and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands of years as your word says in Exodus 34:6–8. Lord, we praise You for Your faithful love.

God abounds in steadfast love for His people, forgiving us of our trespasses and sins through Christ.

Exodus 34:6–8: God’s Steadfast Love

We are so often let down by others in this world and just think about all the marriages that end in divorce, as commitments to love fall apart for all kinds of different reasons, but God, that don’t last. But Your love lasts. Your love lasts forever and ever. You are always faithful. We don’t ever have to worry about You being faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful to You, You are faithful to us.

Giving Worship to God

We worship You for Your faithfulness, for forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. God, thank You for forgiving us. Thank You for forgiving me of my sin. Thank You for forgiving us of our sin. God, we praise You for sending You Son, Jesus to pay the price for our sin so that we could receive forgiveness of all our iniquity and all our transgression and all our sin, knowing that You are just, that apart from Your grace, we would be guilty forever. But by Your grace, we’ve been made not guilty in Your presence by the blood of Jesus Christ for us. Oh, oh God, we glorify You. And we praise You.

We fall down, bow our heads toward the earth, and worship You as Moses did in Exodus 34:6–8. We worship and praise and exalt Your name and we pray. Truly, God, we want to know Your glory more and more and more and more and more. We want to know You and Your attributes, more and more and more and more, for we find life in glorifying You. In Jesus’ name, we praise and exalt You. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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