Verses of the Week: Exodus 34:6-7 “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”
Encouraging Thought: God cannot lie, and in Exodus, He declared Himself to be “merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” For God to be willing to do all that when we don’t deserve any of it displays His immense grace and mercy. But what exactly does it mean?
- merciful: That means God shows compassion to His enemies. That was us before we were saved.
- gracious: That means God is gentle and kind.
- longsuffering: That means God is incredibly patient.
- goodness: That means God is virtuous and excellent.
- truth: That means God knows the truth, tells the truth, is truth.
- abundant: That means God has unlimited quantities in goodness and truth.
Psalm 107:1 says, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” God’s goodness and mercy go hand in hand. And because of His goodness and mercy, He is “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
Words of Wisdom: Deuteronomy 5:9-10 says, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.”
God didn’t create love. God doesn’t show love. God is love, and apart from God, there is no love. Mercy and goodness flow from God’s love. Therefore, He is merciful to the people who love Him and keep His commandments. That’s why He forgives their sin. But while mercy flows from His love, His holiness demands justice of the unrepentant. Nahum 1:3 says that the Lord “will not at all acquit the wicked.” So God will cause the wickedness of those who hate Him to flow down to their children and their grandchildren and their great grandchildren.