The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
READ EXODUS 34:1–7
1The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain." 4So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation."
My interview guest politely answered my questions. I had a feeling, though, that something lurked beneath our interaction. A passing comment brought it it out.
“You’re inspiring thousands of people,” I said.
“Not thousands,” he muttered. “Millions.”
And as if pitying my ignorance, my guest reminded me of his credentials— the titles he held, the things he’d achieved, the magazine he’d graced. It was an awkward moment.
Ever since that experience, I’ve been struck by how God revealed Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:5-7). Here was the Creator of the cosmos and Judge of humanity, but God didn’t use His titles. Here was the Maker of 100 billion galaxies, but such feats weren’t mentioned either. Instead, God introduced Himself as “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (v. 6). When He reveals who He is, it isn’t His titles or achievements He lists but the kind of character He has.
As people made in God’s image and called to follow His example (Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 5:1-2), this is profound. Achievement is good, titles have their place, but what really matters is how compassionate, gracious, and loving we’re becoming.
Like that interview guest, we too can base our significance on our achievements. I have. But our God has modeled what true success is—not what’s written on our business cards and resumés, but how we’re becoming like Him.
I recently read a story of an elderly man who became a Walmart greeter. He seemed to have a great attitude …but he was always late…5,10 15 minutes late every day. The manager finally had to have a talk with him and said you know you are a great employee and you go above and beyond everything we ask of you. The customers love you and the employees love you…we consider you a tremendous asset to this store.
The reason I wanted to talk with you is because you’re late every single day
Once you are here…you are magnificent. I noticed that you served in the Military and I just have to ask what would they have said if you kept coming in late every day? The old man smiled and chuckled and then said “they would have said…Good morning General…can I get you some coffee?”
People are obsessed with titles and achievement. In fact it’s said people will do more for recognition then they will for money.
There is no question that God deserves glory and praise…yet He never forces Himself on us and remains completely approachable. And He does this because His Son Jesus cleared the path to direct contact with the Father through His own sacrificial death.
Once we get past the ego and pride that is so prevalent today we can focus on the real goal. Reaching the lost and loving them to Jesus!