“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.
Source: Philip Graham Ryken and R. Kent Hughes, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 1040–1041.
“May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD,
Your salvation according to Your word;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.” – Psalm 119:41-42 (NASB)
There is an increase in the resistance of our world to the Word of God. There is also a significant decrease in the number who hold the Bible to be absolute truth. Within this battle, those who oppose the teachings in the Bible are becoming more active in demonstrating their hostility. The psalmist called on God to deliver him through His love and His Word and He will for us based on the promise God has given to us. He sought and trusted that he would have an answer for his enemy. He prayed and affirmed that the Word would continue to be his pattern of life. That is the way God has prepared for us to enjoy victory over the obstructions they set to the spreading of His Word. When opposition comes we frequently take it very personally but here we can know that it is God that the non-believer is rejecting and fighting against. We can like this passage teaches learn to delight in God’s commandments grow to love them for they are life to our soul. Next time we meet resistance, lets remember, God’s Word has an answer for us to give in return.
“For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You.” Psalm 33:21-22 (NASB)
Psalm 33 was written to praise God as the Creator and Preserver of life. Especially our life if we have believed His word. God’s unfailing love is defined as his mercy or his lovingkindness. Another word used would be steadfast love. Can we imagine a love that is loving, kind, and steadfast? The Psalms in our Bible offers many expressions of praise to God. There are also many prayers in these songs as our verse today in an example. God’s love is eternal, it never fails. In order to experience this unfailing love, something is required on our part. We must have an attitude of expectation, of true hope. The psalmist has the request for God’s love to be upon us “according as” which is ‘even as’ or ‘according to’ the hope we have in God’s promises. Our hope is built on that which comes from what we know is true and we can expect it to happen. To experience God’s unfailing love, we need to expect Him to show it to us – then His love will cover us, it will be with us. If we constantly expect His love, we’ll constantly experience it.
“Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer Nor His lovingkindness from me.” Psalm 66:20 (NASB)
Perhaps there are times when we feel as if God has not heard our prayers or maybe rejected them. God always hears the prayers of those who abide in Him and love Him. As so many of the songs we have in the book of Psalms in our Bible, this is an expression by the writer about what God had done for him. Written many centuries ago we can still believe this promise and it can become our own expression of praise to God. We know that God hears and answers our prayers and even in those times when we receive an answer different than our request, we know that God has not rejected our prayer. He may have answered it in a different way than we expected or hoped, but we know it is in a way that is best for us because He loves us and he does not withhold his love from us. Our promise today is that He has not rejected our prayer, and because he loves us so much, he has given us an answer that is better for us. Let’s trust Him today and enjoy His love for us.
“The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (NASB)
The importance of the promises, as in our verse today, is better understood when we consider source and context. This is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise by David. We may have considered this verse previously and repetition of God’s promises is always beneficial. David declares our LORD God is exalted over all His creation. He favors the humble in spirit but the arrogant, who David calls haughty, are kept far from Him. Additionally, God watches over our lives and protects us from the hatred of our enemies. The conclusion of Psalm 138 has critical importance for us because we do not always turn to God and trust these promises. Our fears and worries distract us and we are prone to believe God gives up on us. He doesn’t because His promise is that He will accomplish and fulfill all that is His purpose for us. God’s love is steady and holds fast in all circumstances. We can always trust this promise even though we might strongly feel the need to call on God to continue His work in our lives. When we think we’ve lost, God says it is not finished. God’s work continues in our lives.