from Drue Rockett
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, 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 34:6-7
Moses begs God to show him His glory and man does He. What an encounter. What an introduction to the nature of our God. The words in Exodus 34:6-7 are known in Judaism as the Attributes of God and Jewish scholars often self-admittedly wrestle with the way this passage contradicts itself. We see that God forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin, but will by no means clear the guilty. How can this be? How can justice and mercy be so intertwined? If you’re tempted to be like the kid in Sunday school who blurts out “Jesus!” you are correct. God already knew that a greater Moses, Jesus, would have to come and pay our debt.
I love the way Sally Lloyd Jones, author of the Jesus Storybook Bible, connects the dots of the gospel narrative. “Jesus thought about the Secret Rescue Plan he had made with God. Before the foundation of the world, they both knew what would have to happen. To rescue God’s children, Jesus would have to die. There was no other way. It was the reason He had come.”
The cross was the climax of God’s justice and mercy and it was God’s plan long before His encounter with Moses. May we each sit at the foot of the cross today, dwelling on the reality that though our sins are many, His Mercy Is More. (I hope you’ll find that the linked hymn ushers you to that place.)
I live in Back Bay with my husband Carson. I’m a pediatric nurse and have recently re-entered the world of high school through a [new to Boston] ministry called Young Life.