The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering…
(…continued from part 5…)
6) God’s palm of His caring purity took care of that Mosaic problem –of not beholding God. But he saw the eternal backside of the Majestic splendour. Ask Moses how it was, he will tell you, “Unforgettable!” If the sight of His back turned Moses into the likeness of a God such that the Israelites could not behold the visage of Moses, asking him to do something about it for: “behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him” [Exodus 34:30].
“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7) Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 8) And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped” [Exodus 34:6-8]. Is this not the most dramatic scene of the entire Bible! This is not Hollywood. This is a case of an erratic entity, trying to apprehend eternality, and to contain the unimaginable overpowering stance of the eternal voice of the approaching Divinity.
Moses was not encountering the boastful jingoism of Adamic proclivity when the I AM THAT I AM passed by in the full resplendence of His empyreal essence. The words of His eternal lips weigh trillions of tons in the abstrusity of its incredulity yet quite true. How can the entirety of empyrean corporality be visibly brought to the realm of Adamic sinfulness? Mind boggling of its confusion was the state Moses found himself. It was like, “Moses, Moses, how could you have asked for this too much of too muchness?” Of truth is the Yoruba adage, t’ómodé bá dé’bi èrù, èrù á bàá, interpreted as “when a child gets to a place of fearfulness, he will experience fear.”
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible does justice to this scenario: Clarke Exo 34:6 Verse 6. And the Lord passed by – and proclaimed, The Lord, c.] It would be much better to read this verse thus: “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed JEHOVAH,” that is, showed Moses fully what was implied in this august name. Moses had requested God to show him his glory, (see the preceding chapter, Ex 33:18,) and God promised to proclaim or fully declare the name JEHOVAH, (Ex 33:19) by which proclamation or interpretation Moses should see how God would “be gracious to whom he would be gracious,” and how he would “be merciful to those to whom he would show mercy. Here therefore God fulfils that promise by proclaiming this name. It has long been a question, what is the meaning of the word יהוה JEHOVAH, Yehovah, Yehue, Yehveh, or Yeve, Jeue, Jao, Iao, Jhueh, and Jove; for it has been as variously pronounced as it has been differently interpreted. Some have maintained that it is utterly inexplicable; these of course have offered no mode of interpretation. Others say that it implies the essence of the Divine nature. Others, that it expresses the doctrine of the Trinity connected with the incarnation; the letter י yod standing for the Father, ה he for the Son, and ו vau (the connecting particle) for the Holy Spirit: and they add that the ה he being repeated in the word, signifies the human nature united to the Divine in the incarnation. These speculations are calculated to give very little satisfaction. How strange is it that none of these learned men have discovered that God himself interprets this name in Ex 34:6? “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed יהוה YEHOVAH the LORD GOD, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” These words contain the proper interpretation of the venerable and glorious name JEHOVAH. But it will be necessary to consider them in detail.
The different names in this and the following verse have been considered as so many attributes of the Divine nature. Commentators divide them into eleven, thus: –
1. יהוה JEHOVAH.
2. אל EL, the strong or mighty God.
3. רחום RACHUM, the merciful Being, who is full of tenderness and compassion.
4. חנון CHANNUN, the gracious One; he whose nature is goodness itself; the loving God.
5. ארך אפים ERECH APPAYIM, long-suffering; the Being who, because of his goodness and tenderness, is not easily irritated, but suffers long and is kind.
6. רב RAB, the great or mighty One.
7. חסד CHESED, the bountiful Being; he who is exuberant in his beneficence.
8. אמת EMETH, the truth or true One; he alone who can neither deceive nor be deceived, who is the fountain of truth, and from whom all wisdom and knowledge must be derived.
9. נצר חסד NOTSER CHESED, the preserver of bountifulness; he whose beneficence never ends, keeping mercy for thousands of generations, showing compassion and mercy while the world endures.
10. נשא עון ופשע וחטאה NOSE avon vaphesha vechattaah, he who bears away iniquity and transgression and sin: properly, the REDEEMER, the Pardoner, the Forgiver; the Being whose prerogative alone it is to forgive sin and save the soul. ינקה(לו) נקה לא NAKKEH lo yenakkeh, the righteous Judge, who distributes justice with an impartial hand, with whom no innocent person can ever be condemned. And,
11. פקד עון POKED avon, c. he who visits iniquity, who punishes transgressors, and from whose justice no sinner can escape. The God of retributive and vindictive justice.
These eleven attributes, as they have been termed, are all included in the name JEHOVAH, and are, as we have before seen, the proper interpretation of it; but the meaning of several of these words has been variously understood.”
Just imagine if this Personage should get angry with you and will not grant you eternal pardon of the born again Christian, who and where would you run to for salvation? Selah.
Get born again. Say this simple prayer, believing it with all your heart. Say:
“Dear heavenly Father, I come to You now in the name of Jesus Christ. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sin. I believe that You raised Him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and I receive Him now as my Lord and my Saviour. I give God all the glory. Amen!”
(…to be concluded…)
Read part five here
Read the concluding part seven. Click