Exodus (34:4-6. 8-9) With the two tablets of stone in his hands, he went up the mountain of Sinai in the early morning as the Lord had commanded him. And the Lord descended in the form of a cloud, and Moses stood with Him there. He called on the name of the Lord.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, the Lord, God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in kindness and faithfulness; And Moses bowed down to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘If I have indeed won your favour, Lord,’ he said ‘let my Lord come with us, I beg. True, they are headstrong people, but forgive us our faults and our sins, and adopt us as your heritage.’
In Exodus 34, God declares that He is abounding in steadfast love. The word we translate as steadfast love is rich in meaning, indicating God’s unfathomable goodness and kindness, and it is used to describe God repeatedly in the Old Testament. He demonstrates His steadfast love in His actions toward His people. The psalmist gives us a record of His steadfast love in Psalm 136, using the word no less than 26 times in 26 verses! The prophets often depict God as a spurned suitor, a faithful husband whose wife seeks a thrill in the arms of other lovers.
In Hosea, God used the adultery of the prophet’s wife to show Himself as a husband who will not be denied, seeking to restore His beloved despite adultery and even prostitution. In Ezekiel, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are portrayed as two sisters who have left their husbands in order to give themselves to any who would have them. Despite His understandable anger, God still declares that He will restore His people, giving them the ability to love Him again and to follow Him wholeheartedly (Ezekiel 36). Clearly, the picture that we get of God in the Old Testament is that of a lover who will go to any length to save the relationship with His beloved.
God’s loving heart is on display throughout the Bible. He loves us passionately, constantly pursuing a relationship with us. He loves us unceasingly, despite our faithlessness and sin. He loves us unhesitatingly, offering His Son’s life to make the way for our restored relationship. He loves us to the end, walking through this life with us in both our joys and our sorrows.
Who exactly is this God? He is the God who loves. He loves us. He loves you. Have you started a relationship with Him?