Exodus 34:6-7 Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth;7who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."
There is a spirit of this age, it is man centered, and in is characterized as always being in search of. Whatever we have, is always in need of replacement. There is always something off on the horizon, that if we can get it, then everything will be better. Living according to the spirit of this age, is a life always looking for something, and the hope is that when you find it, or otherwise achieve it, then life will be much better, perhaps even perfect. Often life shows us what we think we need, and the rest of our life we spend trying to reach our goal. It is such a time consuming thing, that often people put off God and the things of God till later, because life is so busy now, that once theyíve reached their goal, then they can make peace with God.
Worship, how can you proclaim the name of God, until you find him? And the amazing thing is that God doesnít wait until we have time for him. Nor does God wait until we can find out who he is, but from the very beginning God has come to us. God finds us, God proclaims his name to us, and not only does God do all this, but God also blesses us with wonderful gifts. This is the way it has been since the beginning, well almost.
Remember when God made the world and all that was in it, God said that it was good, and all of it was good. And then by man, sin came into the world, and the 1st result of sin in the world was man was ashamed, and man hid from God. And so the story of Godís work of salvation begins, and we read:Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
God comes to us and reveals His name, and we hear: "the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin" Thatís who God is, and all these things have been given to us because of Jesus Christ, Godís Son. What more could anyone ask for?
We may have a short temper, and want everything our way NOW! But God is patient, He tells us who he is, he shows us who we are, and he shows us that in Christ we have been set free from sin which enslaved us. The Gospel tells us who God is and what he has done for us, and the law shows us our sin and the need for repentance. The Gospel shows us that repentance and forgiveness are possible, and shows us the way of life and salvation. So it is that God, through his word, keeps coming to us, finding us where we are, and calls us to come and follow him. The Word comes to us and calls us to repentance, and because God is patient and slow to anger, we are given many opportunities to repent of our sins. This is the loving kindness of God.
But even though God is patient, and slow to anger, there are limits, and those who do not repent will be punished, and will perish. Which brings us back to opportunities. If God calls you to repent today, then today is a good day to repent, for tomorrow may be too late. And if we all sin much, daily, then daily as we examine ourselves, we hear God calling us to repent of our sin, to turn from ourselves and turn to God, and be healed. And we do this daily.
And its not just for us, but it is for us to teach of families, friends and neighbors. So when they hear the voice of God calling them, they know that now is the time to respond, now is the time to repent. For it is one thing to bear our own sin. It is quite another to know that our sin may effect the lives of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and because of our sin, they also may lead miserable lives. It may not seem fair, but thatís not the point. The point is, that sin will keep us from telling our children about the way of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And if we donít tell our children, then how can they, in turn, tell their children? And if we are silent, who will reach out to the rest of the world? And what of the generations yet to come?
So it is that God comes to us today. He proclaims his name to us. He brings us life, light, and forgiveness, in Jesus name. He calls us to repent of our sin, and he calls us to be witnesses...