Second Day of Lent
Posted on March 7, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Exodus 34:1-10 (NKJV)
34:1 And the LORD said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke. 2 So be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain. 3 And no man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let neither flocks nor herds feed before that mountain.”
4 So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him; and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone. 5 Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
8 So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. 9 Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
10 And He said: “Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.
In yesterday’s reading Moses asked to see God’s glory. He was asking to see God in His essence and bare divinity, to which the Lord replied, “You cannot see my face; for no man shall see me and live” (Ex. 33:20). St. John writes in John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time.” Creatures cannot see God, especially sinful creatures, and live. But the Lord promises that He will cause His goodness to pass before Moses. Moses sees the Lord’s back parts, but not His bare divinity and glory. By this God shows that He is to be seen in human form, that is, in the incarnation of God the Son in the fullness of time.
In today’s reading the Lord fulfills His promise and causes His goodness to pass before Moses. What is His goodness? The Gospel. The Lord is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” This is what Christ offers to all who trust the promise of the Gospel. He also proclaims that those who reject the gospel are not justified. He will visit the iniquity of unbelievers upon them because they do not flee to Christ for mercy and forgiveness, but reject Christ and remain under condemnation.
As we go through this Lenten season, let us not seek God’s bare divinity and majesty, which would only destroy us if we looked upon it. Let us instead seek God in Christ, true God and true man, where He has promised to be merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully hear our prayers and, having set us free from the bonds of sin, defend us from all evil; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.