The Old Testament God of Love


June 2 (Exodus 34:6)

The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,

“Yahweh The Lord!
    The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
    and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.  (NLT)

Moses had just completed one of the most important tasks God had ever given to a human being.  He had spent time with God on the mountain receiving the ten commandments that would become the basis of Jewish life, and now God honored him by passing before him.  What a privilege for Moses to be in the presence of the living God!  The Lord knew that the purity and brilliance of His presence would kill Moses, so He instructed him to hide in the crevice of a rock until He had completely passed, and then Moses could look upon Him from the back.  Still, it was an amazing honor and one that would change Moses forever.

And what does God say in this moment?  What does He announce about Himself?  He proclaims that He is the God of compassion and mercy.  What?  Aren’t the Ten Commandments a bunch of rules that prove God is angry and out to get us?  Not at all.  Notice that it is in the very moment of giving the law that God proclaims His compassion and mercy.  In fact, because He knows our enemy does not want us to grasp this fully, He goes on.  “I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”

There is only one God.  He eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  There is not a God of the Old Testament and a different one in the New Testament.  There is one God, and His nature remains unchanged and unchanging, and that nature is one of compassion and mercy and love and faithfulness.  Satan will use anything and everything to convince you otherwise, so look up from your circumstances for a moment.  Look away from the pain and difficulty in your life and for just a moment look to the presence of God.  You will find what Moses found, love that will change you forever.

Lord, so often I try to reason my way to knowledge about You.  I look at something bad in my life or in the world and conclude that You must not love me.  Help me not to try figuring You out with my own misguided logic.  Help me to see You clearly through Your own words.  May the Holy Spirit illumine my understanding so that I see the compassionate, merciful, loving, and faithful God that You are.  In the name of Jesus, Who revealed You fully, I pray.  Amen.


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