Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth; who keeps loving-kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
The Glory of God
God is compassionate – He is sympathetic, He shows pity, and He is concerned for the sufferings and misfortunes of others. The opposite would be indifference or cruelty which God is not.
God is gracious – He is courteous, kind, and pleasant. He shows mercy, compassion, and kindness towards those who deserve the His anger. He provides life for the undeserving.
God is slow to anger – It takes a lot to make God angry. He is patient. God endures with obstinate, or more literally, hard necked people, necks that will not bow to His will in spite of His goodness to them.
God abounds in loving-kindness for thousands– He shows tenderness and considers others abundantly.
God is truth – He is correct, accurate and right all the time.
God forgives – He stops feeling angry or resentful toward those who turn to Him from any offenses, flaws, or mistakes they make against Him.
God forgives iniquity – He forgives immoral and grossly unfair behavior.
God forgives transgressions – He forgives acts that go against His law, His rule, or His code of conduct; anything that is offensive to Him.
God forgives sin – He forgives immoral acts or transgressions against Him.
God will by no means leave the guilty unpunished – His anger burns against those who do not turn to Him from any offenses, flaws, or mistakes they make against Him. Their destiny is eternal punishment if they do not turn to Him in repentance and faith!
When Moses asked to see God’s glory in Exodus the Lord responded in chapter 33:20-22, “But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
Exodus 34:6-7 is how God proclaimed His ways to Moses while Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
SALT has posted blogs on this verse before but it is important for us to understand this. God declared His glory to Moses with protection so that Moses could live as no man can live and see the glory of God. The glory that God showed Moses is defined in the terms above. These terms describe the very being of God. God defines these attributes. These attributes plumb the depths of God’s heart that can’t be seen on the surface. It takes God to reveal Himself by the power of His Spirit in order for us to see inside what motivates Him. To see His heart! Everything that exists comes out of a God whose heart resembles that which was unveiled to Moses on the mountain.
The next truth that is important to grasp is that God filled a human body with His glory. The human body is Jesus Christ. He walked among us for 33 years and is now in charge of the entire universe. Everything that God is exists in Jesus Christ. His creative power, His sustaining power, and His heart are all present within the person of Jesus. The results are that we all with unveiled face can look onto the face of the one who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth; who keeps loving-kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished through the enablement of the Holy Spirit and Scripture. Every decision that God makes is motivated by His glory.
You may replace glory with light or the word. Both of which describe Jesus who is the glory of God.
How do we respond to this? Pray! Pray diligently that God would open our eyes to plumb the depths of the heart of God who exists in the person of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to see God unless He unveils Himself to you by His Spirit through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of all things!! We need to see Him accurately with the eyes of God the Father. Pray that God would open your spiritual eyes to see more of the beauty of Christ who is God almighty and encourage others to do so as well!!