Then the Eternal passed by in front of Moses and proclaimed, “The Eternal, the Eternal God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness and faithfulness; who preserves kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” Exodus 34:6–7
Day by day, moment by moment, we need to know that we are forgiven, and, even more, that we can be forgiven again. We need to know that God has put aside his justifiable anger because we “have not honored him as God nor been grateful.” We can only know this if God makes it possible to return to him. So he tells us that he wants nothing more than to act for our benefit, even if we have violated the promises we have made to trust him for every aspect of our lives. He is eager to welcome us back. He knows our weakness. By sending Jesus to model a godly life and to endure God’s justice for us, he has done everything necessary to clearing away all obstacles to receiving his blessing. Therefore we would be wise not to wait to admit our faith-failures. We are responsible for the breaks in our relationship; but he loves us so much he even teaches us to pray for insight concerning sins to which we are blind. His preference is to remove our guilt; but he will punish those who do not avail themselves of his forgiveness. First of all we must live in forgiveness. The First-of-all lives to forgive.
Eternal Lord, your readiness to welcome me back fills me with hope. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness. As Moses did, I bow before this display of your glory and wait to be renewed by grace in Jesus’ name. Amen.