Merciful Father, I’m grateful for the confidence I have to be with You because of Your redeeming love.
Read EXODUS 34:1-14
 The LORD said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.  Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain.  No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”  So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.  Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.  And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”  Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.  “O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes,” he said, “then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”  Then the LORD said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.  Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.  Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.  Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do you learn about God’s nature in this passage?
God doesn’t change. God’s Word doesn’t change (1). The giving again of the law follows the pattern of the earlier episode. God’s covenant with his people doesn’t change either. Here his promises and warnings (10-14) are reiterated. There are two sides to the agreement (11). Yes, God will be with his people. Their part is obedience and exclusive faithfulness to him (see Jeremiah 31:32). God is not being cruel or selfish in this. He simply wants to keep his people from harm (12). Like a faithful husband, he is jealous for his loved one’s good (14).
With new awareness of God’s holiness and of their sin, his failing people can rejoice again in his goodness: a God merciful and gracious, “slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness …” (6). And there is a hint in all this of a new covenant to come—which still needs two parties in agreement (see Jeremiah 31:33). But, of course, God’s sacredness, the punishment of sin, total forgiveness and relationship with God are summed up and guaranteed in Christ: “… the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
Praise God for all he has done for you through Jesus. Praise him for his mercy, grace, love and compassion.
Gracious, loving Lord, I thank You that You never change. I can rely on Your great goodness forever.
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