Again Sunday we look at the Glory of YHWH, the LORD. Like Moses we want God to "teach [us] Your ways so [we] may know You and continue to find favor with You." We long to better understand Who the "I AM" is.
This week we see the Glory of the LORD "...maintaining love to thousands..."
God guards His love for us. He shields His heart from the disappointment, deminishment and even betrayal of our relationship to Him. He wants always to respond to us in love. His loving heart sends rain on the just and the unjust, sunshine on the righteous and unrighteous. Even when we, like the Golden Calf crowd, reject His love and rebel against His leadership, His guarded love reaches out to us.
The LORD keeps carefully His love for us. He tends to the relationship with tenderness and concern. Like a gardener (John 15) He looks over our relationship and tends it. He weeds out what would sap His love, He fertilizes what is weakened in our relationship. Men generally do not give such carefulness to relationships. Women do. Like His compassion, coming from the Hebrew word for womb, God fusses over our relationship carefully. He wants it to work.
God keeps continually His love for us. God is love and always loves. Even on our worst day, God loves us. From before there was a molecule of matter that makes up our selves, God loved us completely, without condition. And in eternity future, His love will continue. Even for those who choose to be eternally separated from Him!
The LORD preserves His love for us. Like jelly or jam, the love of the LORD is stored up for us. It will not run out or even low. His passion for us does not fluctuate nor is He fickle in His feelings for us. In our moment of greatest need, His love is strong.
The LORD maintains love to thousands. This can either mean "thousands of persons" or "thousands of generations." Perhaps it implies both.
The Scriptures clearly declare that the LORD loves every person. "God loved the whole world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, so that all those believing on Him would not die but have eternal life" (John 3.16.) Here, when speaking to the chosen leader of the Chosen People, the LORD hints at His universal love of all people. James clearly forbids partiality based on economic circumstances. Jesus declares we are to be "perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect" chiefly in this matter of loving all people, not just the lovable.
Later in this Proclamation of the Name, the LORD will promise to "punish the sin of the father...to the second and third generation." Here YHWH says He maintains His love to thousands of generations in a family. We will look into this issue of family crime and punishment in a few weeks. The amazing thing is not His judgment on 3 generations, it is His love for thousands of generations. Grace that is greater than all our sins! PTL!
We are to glow with the glory of our God. If He is unique in His dealings with humanity, we are to be unique, as well. He is renewing us in the image of our Creator. We glow with His "maintained" love to thousands when we interact with all persons treating them with equal dignity and kindness. We must allow the Holy Spirit to continually guard our hearts from preconceived notions about people based on economics, race, or religion. We all have such notions instilled in us through upbringing and environmental factors. BUT, the people of a God who loves thousands must reflect that love as He enables.