Let's review our pericope: Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 34.5-7, NIV)
This week we, along with Moses, hear the LORD declaring the glory of His Name. He is the God abounding in love and faithfulness.
The Glory of the God: Abounding in Love and Faithfulness
To say that God abounds in love says first that God deals with us with loving-kindness. His love moves Him to deal with us carefully and tenderly. We experience His kindness and often take it for granted. We are more amazed by His occasioinal acts of judgment than we are in perpetual acts of loving-kindness. Paul chides the Roman Christ-followers, "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (Romans 2.4, NIV.) His kindness is designed to draw us to Him.
The LORD also abounds in faithfulness. He remains true to His commitments. He keeps His promises. He always speaks the truth. Relationships rest on the central issue of trust. Our LORD has proven His trustworthiness over the entire scope of history. Like Hosea of old, God remains faithful to our relationship even when we commit the spiritual equivalent of adultery. 2 Timothy 2.13 declares if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (NIV) We find security in His faithful commitment to us.
The LORD God is abounding in these qualities. Not just barely enough, His love and faithfulness know no limits. He overflows with love and faithfulness. When Jesus came into the world, John described Him as "full of grace and truth" The psalmist repeats the refrain, "His love endures forever."
The Glow of His People
As the people of this Love-and-Faithfulness-Abounding God, we reflect that glory in a world darkened by infidelity, lies, hate and indifference. Colossians says we are to put away lying. Ephesians says we are to speak the truth in love. Jesus says we are to let our "Yes, be 'yes' and our 'no' be 'no...'" What a challenge this week. LORD, help your people to be overflowing with love and faithfulness, to your Glory and Praise. AMEN