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God Reveals His Nature

I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Up vistaed hopes I sped;

And shot, precipitated,

Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,

From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

But with unhurrying chase,

And unperturbed pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat – and a Voice beat

More instant than the Feet –

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’

“The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson (1893)

Exodus 33:11 says God spoke to Moses “face to face.” That meant that by demonstrating his commitment to God, Moses now got to speak to God “openly and honestly,” one of the main benefits of believer’s seeking to live holy lives!  

And He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you My name, “The Lord.”              -Exodus 33:19

Read Exodus 34:1-9

The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and truth, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the sins of the fathers on the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.             -Exodus 34:6-7        

Slow to anger involve 2 words in the original Hebrew. The word for slow is Arek (H750 – 16x), which literally means long-winged, like an eagle. The word for anger is Ap (H639 – 269x), which literally means nostril, nose, face.

God soars above mankind in a thoughtful, deliberate, and overshadowing way; He could deal with sin at any moment, but hasty anger cannot be seen in His “face, His nostrils.”

As God reveals His name in our passage He wants us to know that He is NOT like we often are – He is not hasty to exercise His rightful anger at sin; He is thoughtful, He is deliberate – He judges sin, but never in sinful anger like we do.

Why should God be angry at all?

Why does God take sin so seriously?

God has to deal with ALL sin or He is not 100% holy, just, and righteous!

The Triune God’s “John 3:16 Filter” allows God to be slow to anger, because it makes it possible for God to show both mercy and grace to unworthy sinners who repent, believe in, and follow Him! 

Because of God’s John 3:16 filter He doesn’t need to express anger like we do, because to repentant believers He can say, “My Son is going to take care of that for you!”