When we read Exodus 32-34, the passage places compassion and mercy at the very heart of who God is—and therefore who we are called to be in our very identity as God’s people. Exodus 34.6 says “Then the LORD passed by in front of him [Moses] and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” This is a declaration that the Lord makes of Himself, as He reveals of His nature and character to a people who have just rebelled by worshipping a golden calf. Though we do see (and rightly so) the Lord’s anger and discipline, what the Israelites come to witness is that the Lord is compassionate and gracious, full of mercy and lovingkindness. Mercy is God’s gracious hand of love, care and forgiveness being poured upon His people—in our times of crisis, in our brokenness, and in our darkness. It is with this mercy that God has dealt, and continually deals with each of us, where the Lord has deep concern, care and compassion for us.
This is the very foundation of ministry—participating in the ministry of God’s compassion and mercy to a sin-broken world.
Today, spend time reading through Exodus 32-34, and may we once again hear loudly and clearly that the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness!