The Faithfulness of God (Exodus 34:6–7) - Radical

The Faithfulness of God (Exodus 34:6–7)

“The Lord passed before Moses 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 34:6–7

Now, keep in mind as I’m about to read this verse, in the previous chapter, Moses prays to God, “Please show me your glory,” which, just think about that, was a bold request. Not just to ask for that, but think of all that Moses had already seen. Moses had seen God reveal His glory in a burning bush as God spoke to him. Moses had seen God reveal His glory in powerful ways as God revealed His name, the Lord to Moses as God called Moses to go to pharaoh, and as God brought about plague after plague after plague demonstrations of His glory, His power, His judgment, and then Moses saw God deliver all the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Then Moses saw God split a sea in half and lead his people through on dry land, and then Moses saw God lead his people with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. Moses saw God give bread from heaven and water from rocks. Like if anybody had seen the glory of God, Moses had.

Moses is the one who got to go up on the mountain and meet with God and receive the word of God. Like this picture of God is a consuming fire and Moses was invited to meet with God. If anybody had seen the glory of God, Moses had, and so that’s what I mean. It feels pretty bold when I’m reading Exodus 33:18, and Moses said, “Now, please show me Your glory.” It’s like, “Really? You’ve not seen enough glory, Moses?” but I guess that’s the point. Once you see, once you taste of the glory of God, you have an insatiable desire to see more, and more, and more, and more. So in response to Moses’ request, God brings Moses out and He says, “You can’t see my face,” which even as we think about, we were praying through Exodus 33:11 in the previous podcast episode, when God spoke to Moses face-to-face as a man speaks with his friend, we know that’s a picture, it’s a description for us of the personal picture of God communing with Moses, but the Old Testament is crystal clear, like no one could see the face of God and live.

We have seen the glory of God and Jesus. Well, I’ll get to that in a minute. So Exodus 34:6, in light of Moses’ prayer to see God’s glory. The Bible says, “The Lord passed before Moses 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.'” So see what happens here. Moses asked God to show His glory to him, and in response, God proclaims His name, “The Lord, the Lord,” and begins describing different characteristics of who God is. God reveals His glory by proclaiming His name and his attributes. It says we think about the glory of God, we think about the sum of who He is. We use that term, the glory of God, it’s the sum of who He is and all that His attributes, and all He does on behalf of His people and specifically for those who trust in Him.

So I just want to lead us to praise God in light of Exodus 34:6–7 for His glory. Would you join me in your heart? O God, we praise you as the Lord, as Yahweh, the I Am, the One who was and is and is to come, the self-sufficient, self-existent, eternal sovereign Lord of all. We praise you for being a merciful and gracious God. God, we praise you for your grace. We love your grace and we love your mercy. We shudder to think where we would be where it not for your grace and your mercy. We praise you that you’re slow to anger. God, I praise you for being slow to anger in my life and praise you for being slow to anger in each of our lives. We praise you for abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Yes, God, we praise you for this description of who you are. We praise you that you abound in steadfast love, in unfailing love, and unshakable and never-ending love. We praise you that you are bound in that kind of love. We praise you that you abound in faithfulness.

I think about how unfaithful I have been and you have been faithful still. You abound in faithfulness. You keep steadfast love for thousands. You forgive iniquity and transgression and sin. God, we praise you for forgiving our inequity and our transgression or sin. Jesus, we praise you for coming to this world. The glory of the Father we have seen in the flesh for dying on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our iniquity and transgression and sin. Jesus, we praise you for taking our iniquity and transgression and sin upon yourself so that through faith in you, we, the guilty might be forgiven. We, the guilty, might be made righteous

God, we love your glory. We praise you for your glory. We pray that you would use our lives as a reflection of your glory. Help us to reflect your love and your mercy and your grace and your faithfulness. God, we pray you’d help us to declare your glory among the nations. O God, among the Garhwali Rajput in India, no followers of Jesus there, they don’t know you. They don’t know you and all your glory, out of the hundreds of thousands of them. God, we pray for the spread of your glory among the Garhwali Rajput in India. We’re asking for that, God. Please spread your glory there. Send laborers to make your glory known there. God, spread your glory through our lives whether there, wherever we live today, God, help us to proclaim your glory. We love your glory, O God. We love your attributes. We love who you are. We worship and praise and exalt you in all of your glory. This is what we’re created to do, and we find our deepest joy in giving glory to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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