Meditation: Exodus 33 & 34

Reading: Exodus 33:19- 23 and 34:1-9

Moses finds grace in God’s sight and then asks the Lord “Please, show me Your glory”. The Lord replies “You shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen” (Ex 33:17, 18 and 23).

In Exodus 34:6 the Lord passes before Moses, revealing His back. But then the Lord does a wonderful thing: the Lord proclaims His names and attributes. Here is an important principle: in this life the Lord wants us to know him through His written Word (and the creation), rather than His appearance. This principle is also included in the second commandment which prohibits the making of an image of God. We must live by faith, not by sight.

God wants Moses, and all His people, to know the goodness of His divine nature. Therefore God proclaims his name to Moses followed by the meaning of his name by listing some of His wonderful attributes. “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” (Ex 34:6-7).

These are some of the most important verses in the Bible. They are quoted, fully or in part, in the Bible many times. For example, in the book of Psalms alone it is mentioned in Psalms 57:10; 86:15; 103:8; 108:4; 111:4; 112:4; 116:5; 145:8. Furthermore it gives us great encouragement. We, sinful people, have a God and father who is merciful and forgiving. Next time we will continue with this text.

Key text: Ex 34:6 “And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth”.

Question: God reveals Himself through the written Word (Bible) rather than by His appearance. In which other “book” does God reveal Himself? (Refer Belgic Confession of Faith Article 2). How do study this other book?