October 12 Who/What God Is

“The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;” – Exodus 34:5-6 (NASB)

While we are not expected to have experiences with God in the manner that Moses did, we find in these verses from Exodus a promise for us from God. He came down to Moses who had ascended to the top of the mountain. On this particular occasion God came down in a glorious cloud. This was what is called a theophany—a visible manifestation of the invisible God. God had appeared to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-9), so he appeared again on the mountain. The Bible says almost nothing about God’s appearance. Moses wanted to see God, but rather than telling us what he saw, the Bible tells us what Moses heard: The Prophet heard the promises which defined God’s character. Our LORD God is, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, truth and faithfulness, Verse 7 goes on; God maintains love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Each of these characters also define names of our LORD. For God’s name stands for his entire being. It is his nature. It is who He is—the God of creation and redemption, who made and saves His people.

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Source: Philip Graham Ryken and R. Kent Hughes, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 1040–1041.

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