The Glory of God
The glory of God is the sum total of all His attributes. When Moses asked God, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). God answered, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee” (Exodus 33:19). And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6–7).
A greater statement of God’s love for sinners would be hard to imagine. The name of the Lord stands for His character which consists of the following qualities—mercy, justice, and truth. The greatest quality is mercy because God’s relationship to humans is based upon it.
John the beloved wrote about God’s outstanding characteristic, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:7–12).
Grace and the Law
When God originally gave His law to Moses in Sinai, there was needed an additional revelation of His loving character to His children. The Lord wanted His people to learn of His love not just His law. Of itself the law could not be “merciful and gracious.” Its main focus was upon righteousness. So, by God’s revelation in Exodus 34, Sinai announced not only the divine law but also the divine grace. And this message became a great source of hope for God’s children.
The revelation of God’s love at Sinai disproves the popular belief that Sinai stands for justice but not mercy. Sinai’s declaration didn’t cancel the law and God’s justice; rather it revealed the relationship between the law and grace. The Psalmist wrote about the complete harmony between grace and the flaw: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face” (Psalms 89:14).
God’s Unchangeable Character
As God revealed Himself to Moses, so He reveals Himself to us today. It is this same unchanging character of God that grants sinners hope of eternal life (John3:16). The Lord declared, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11; 31: 3).
David presented a beautiful picture of the love of God, who pities His children, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:8–14 also 145:8).
God is full of mercies and graciousness. He regards all with the tenderest sympathy, especially those passing through the hardships of life (Hebrews 13:5b). His great desire is that they should repent and turn to Him (Ezekiel 33:11). And He asks the question: “How shall I give thee up…?” (Hosea 11:8). In spite of the sins of His people, the Lord, because of His enduring love and mercy, continues to strive for the repentance and reformation of His people (Jeremiah 31:20).
In His service,