Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Don't Stop With the First Part of Verse 7

Notice carefully how the LORD describes himself to Moses in Exodus 34:

"4 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. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 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, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."

Great stuff, isn't it? Wow! What a God! How wonderful, how beautiful!

Oh wait, I didn't finish verse 7. God continues to describe Himself:

"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. 8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped."

So, God describes Himself as being both merciful and guilt-punishing at the same time. Not alternating states of being. He's both, all the time.

This is why the Cross is key to our salvation. The Gospel message is that Christ substituted Himself for us, taking the punishment we deserve. This is how God's nature is completely honored, and how we are reconciled to Him.

No comments: