Monday, 4 January 2016
"'The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.'" Exodus 34:6,7 (NRSV)
This is the description of God given to Moses which is repeated throughout the Bible.
It is the description used by the prophet Nehemiah, King David in the Psalms, the prophet Daniel, and the prophet Jonah.
It is repeated almost word for word.
What does this tell us about God?
This is certainly not a God waiting to punish us.
This is not a moral accountant.
This is a generous, forgiving God of Love "'ready to relent from punishing.'" Jonah 4:2 (NRSV)
Why is this not the standard description of God?
Why have we been told that God will judge us?
Why have we been told that we are condemned?
The answer is simple:
Humankind is so fearful of an almighty God that our guilt and shame drive us to slander Him.
And yet God says, "Fear not."
Jesus says, "Fear not."
This is the way of the heart.
It is not a way of rules and punishments.
God will forgive us.
If we open our hearts.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]
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