Verse of the Day Devotion: Exodus 34:6
“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,” – Exodus 34:6
This verse describes events that occurred after Moses threw the first set of tablets containing the Ten Commandments down upon the rebellious Children of Israel. Remember that when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai he was so angry that he threw the tablets down onto them. Well, this chapter describes how the second set of tablets were given.
Here is the verses recording this event. “The LORD said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” Exodus 34:1-3. Moses here is given till the next morning to cut new tablets upon which God would put the Ten Commandments upon. He then tells Moses to come to the mountain himself, not to bring anyone with him.
“So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.” Exodus 34:4-5. Therefore, Moses does what he is commanded and cuts two new tablets to replace the ones destroyed previously. The next morning he awakens, takes the two new tablets, and presents them to God. The next thing we read is that the Lord descended from Heaven in a cloud and, I love the way this is put, and stood with him there. Now the Lord declares in our focus verse, “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, Exodus 34:6. And then continuing in verse 7, “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 34:7.
When He announced Himself to Moses the first time at the burning bush, he declared Himself as ‘self-existent’. “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14. This time He makes Himself known in the glory of His grace and goodness, using language that would be presented in the future to the church. And because of what the Jews had done previously during the presentation of the first set of tablets, this shows His grace and mercy in presenting, once again, His law to His people, but also the grace and mercy He has in overlooking their sin. And not just the sin of Israel, but all who has offended God in their ways.
This is the God we serve, one that has overlooked our sins once we cried out to Him for forgiveness, and then gave ourselves to Him to His service. He loved us so much that He forgave us of everything and has declared us guiltless before Himself. His abounding love and mercy goes far beyond anything we can ever imagine, and our future is with Him, in His kingdom forever. What an amazing God we serve.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.