The Lord's Name


Exodus 34:6-7
6 The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,
“Yahweh! The Lord!
    The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
    and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
7 I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
    I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty.
    I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren;
the entire family is affected—
    even children in the third and fourth generations.”


When you think about God, what do you think about? When you hear his name, what comes to your mind? If you were to describe God to someone else, how would you describe him? 

A.W. Tozer famously said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” After all, we are made in the image of God. So if we want to live in the fullness of life God has for us, then we must have a good understanding of whose image we were made in. If we have a misconception of who God is, then we cannot possibly live in the way God has designed us to live. Therefore, we must make sure we have a good understanding of who God is. 

While we will never be able to comprehend God in his fullness, he does give us beautiful little glimpses of himself all throughout Scripture. Specifically, we are given a few verses in the book of Exodus where God literally reveals his character to Moses by his words. What better place to start comprehending who God is than looking at the way he describes himself to his people?

In Exodus 34:6, we see God pass in front of Moses, and he begins by calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord!”. This name “Yahweh” was the same name for God that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew. This was no new revelation to Moses, rather it was God presenting himself as the Lord. 

God then begins to describe himself as “the God of compassion and mercy”. Some translations may read, “a God merciful and gracious”. God shows us mercy in that he doesn’t give us the punishment we deserve for our sin, and he shows us grace in that he gives us good gifts that we don’t deserve. God’s mercy and grace is so evident in the good news of Jesus. 

Along with his mercy and grace, God is also “slow to anger”. So often we think God is just sitting in heaven waiting for us to mess up so that he can punish us or discipline us. However, that is not God’s character. Because God is so compassionate and merciful, he is also patient towards us in our disobedience. God does not have a short fuse. Rather, he is constantly trying to draw us towards himself while extending forgiveness to us.

Lastly, we see from these verses that God at his core is love. It is a love that surpasses knowledge. God’s love is unfailing, unconditional, and eternal. It is so easy to be convinced that God’s love for us will run dry. It’s so easy to start thinking that one day God will say “that’s it… I’m done with you.” However, this would be contradictory to his very nature. God’s love will never fail, it will never end, and it is not dependent on anything or anyone outside of itself. There is nothing you can or cannot do to make God love you any more or less than he does at this moment. This is a truth that we can rejoice in everyday for the rest of our lives.

The best part of this verse is that God says to Moses that he will “lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations”. As you read through the Bible, you can’t help but notice the way that God lavishes his unfailing love to his people. God showed his love to his people in the Old Testament by leading them out of slavery and into the promised land. In the New Testament, God showed his love to the world by sending his only Son to die for our sins so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. But God’s love didn’t stop after the Bible was written. 

God’s love continues to be lavished on his people to this day. Me and you get to experience the unfailing love of God each morning when we wake up and take a breath. And when our days on this earth are over, God’s love will still be flowing. Our children, our grandchildren, our children’s grandchildren, our grandchildren’s grandchildren, will all be lavished with the unfailing love of God. God’s love will never end.

This is our God. He is merciful and gracious. He is slow to anger. He is abounding with unfailing love and faithfulness to a thousand generations. He forgives us for our sin, transgression, and iniquity when we believe and place our faith in the name of Jesus. 

Action Step

First, rest and rejoice in God and who he is. Rest in his grace. Rest in his mercy. Rest in his patience towards you. Rest in his forgiveness. Rest in his unfailing love. No matter what life is throwing at you right now, or what lies ahead in the future, take a second to rest and rejoice in your God. 

Secondly, consider how God’s unfailing love to a thousand generations can lead you to sow seeds of love For Generations. God’s love didn’t start with our generation, and it certainly won’t end with our generation. So what can you do to sow seeds of love into the lives of people for generations to come? 


Father, we simply thank you for who you are. We often thank you for the things you do for us, but we often miss who you are in the process. It’s so easy for us to forget or misportray your character. Thank you for being merciful and gracious towards us. Thank you for being slow to anger. Thank you for your unfailing love and faithfulness that you lavish upon us on a daily basis. Reveal to us more and more who you are, and as we behold your glory transform us into the same image from one degree of glory to another. Amen.
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