He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:7-12 NIV
Psalm 103:7-12 expounds on a theme from Exodus 33 & 34. At that point in the story, the Hebrew people are just learning who God is. In Ex. 33:13 Moses asks to be taught God’s ways so he can know God, and continue to find favor with God. The essence of God’s ways are recorded for us by Moses after he witnessed God’s glory. Moses says, “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,” Ex. 34:6-7. Psalm 103:7 tells us God answered Moses prayer.
Isaiah and Jeremiah use descriptive language to explain the enormity of God’s love for us through his complete and total forgiveness of our sin. Isaiah 1:18 says though our sin was crimson, now it is white as snow, and in Is. 43:25 that it is blotted out, gone. Jeremiah 50:20 says God will no longer remember our sin and even if a search was made for our guilt, it could not be found. This is a profound concept, difficult to grasp, yet we must try to understand The Lord of Lords is compassionate and forgiving. God offers this complete forgiveness to those who repent, and fear the Lord.
Psalm 34 teaches us what fear of the Lord looks like. “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him, lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” Psalm 34:8-11. Fear of the Lord includes having reverence for God and doing the words I listed in bold, tasting, taking refuge in the Lord, seeking, coming, listening to the Lord, and his word.
Moses asked God to teach him his ways. I ask God to do the same for me. Ask God to do the same for you. Reread some of these passages, and seek God’s heart, his purpose in these words. Immediately after Moses prayed to be taught God’s ways, God replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” This is a promise I’ve taken hold of and gained strength from in the past 18 months of our grieving over family members going to heaven. May you gain strength from his presence and rest as well.
By Grace Hunter