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Northshore Community Church

Week 7: Wednesday

Lent Reflections

God’s Name Exercise

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 ESV

After the golden calf crisis, God reconfirms his covenant with Israel. Part of this reconfirmation is that God declares what He is like at the core of His being. This answers Moses’ original question of who is sending him. At the beginning of the story, Moses was given God’s name, Yahweh (THE LORD). Now as Israel is sent into The Promised Land, they are told what Yahweh is like. Yahweh defines the essence of who He is as:

Merciful
Gracious
Slow to anger
Abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness
Keeping love for thousands
Forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin
Will not clear the guilty but visits the iniquity to the third and fourth generation 1

In the context of the narrative, this declaration is given directly given after a major incident of sin. What that means is that God is saying He is, “merciful to golden calf worshipers, gracious to golden calf worshipers, slow to anger with golden calf worshippers…”

Reflection
Write this verse out in your journal but where the blanks are, insert your story of sin:

The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful to_____________ and gracious to _____________ slow to anger with _____________ and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness to _____________  keeping steadfast love for thousands of _____________ 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 of _____________.

What does inserting your story into this verse teach you about the way God loves you specifically? How does this love apply to your story specifically?

1 Understanding what each of these attributes means can be complex. We recommend the whole character of God series by the Bible Project as a short introduction. The last clause can be particularly complex so you can read this article to understand more of what’s going on in this verse.

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