There is Always Grace

November 30, 2021

Exodus 34.1-9

1 The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”

So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the Lord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 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 parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

The stone tablets of the covenant law are replaced as God passes by Moses.  Hearing the words of grace that God is compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  Even the words of punishment for guilt remind us of grace as these words are the same as are in the commandments as we saw them in Exodus 20, in the command to not have idols.  There the punishment statement comes first, here it comes second.  And the balance is seen that there is grace, even to those who have broken this command, as Israel did already.

There is always grace.  Even in the midst of sin and guilt there is grace.  There is grace to the people who have made the idols, as we still will see Aaron and his sons leading the people as the priests of God.  There is grace as Moses, who himself was reluctant at best to be the leader of the people, continues to be the one taking the people across the wilderness.  There is grace as God continues to use us, and his whole church, in our brokenness, and even our rebellion.  God continues to be the faithful compassionate God he states as his being as he passes by Moses.

Hear God pass by today as we sit with him.  Hear God call us by name, as individuals, as congregations, as the whole church, claiming us as his own.  Hear God call out his names of graciousness, faithfulness, compassion and love.  Know that he has made us his people, he continues to hold us as his people, he will always keep us as his people.  Even when we will fail again, he will hold us, forgive us and love us.  Hear God call your name and respond to his grace and follow him well.

SongHe Knows My Name

Prayer

Lord God, our lives are filled with sin.  We forget our neighbour’s needs and do not love you above all else.  We need a Saviour.  Help us to be ready for Jesus in our own hearts.  O come, O come, Saviour of the world.  Amen.

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