Focal Passage: Exodus 34:1-9
God would never ask His people to do or say anything that He Himself would not do or say. Making sure we’re aligned with the character of God is essential. But who is our great God? God’s character can be described through several challenging, but important words.
God is holy (Exodus 34:1-5). The attribute of God that might serve as the “universe in which all other attributes orbit” can be referred to as the holiness of God. Holiness is more than perfection. Holiness means that God is totally other, in a class by Himself (in Latin, sui generis).
When God met with Moses to give him the Law, the Lord descended in a cloud of glory to reveal Himself to Moses. God established a relationship with Moses as He was giving Moses the Law of God.
As holy, God is perfect, self-sufficient, eternal, sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. There is none like Him (Isaiah 40).
He is the uncreated Creator, the uncaused cause. He is before all time, above all time, and is in control of time. He had no beginning and will have no end. All things were made by Him and for Him. If you turned creation upside down it would be stamped, “Made by God.”
God is perfect immutability (Exodus 34:6-7). Our holy God is perfect in His perfections and is immutable in that He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is, as Exodus 34:6 notes, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and truth and is faithful, consistent and never-changing. Further, He is a forgiving and saving God. He is a long-suffering God.
However, God’s grace does not eclipse His judgment. While God will forgive the repentant, humble sinner, He will not forgive those who reject Him. He will hold all people accountable and will only forgive those who look to Him in faith. God’s love is inviting and saving; yet, God’s love, if rejected, becomes the cornerstone of God’s rejection of those who reject Him (Matthew 12:22-32).
God is unchanging (immutable) in both His love and truth, His mercy and judgement, His justice and commandments and in His consolations and condemnations.
God can, if you will, walk and chew gum at the same time as He flawlessly holds together truth and love, mercy and justice. As we reflect His glory we mimic His perfections albeit imperfectly. As we align with God’s character He directs our steps.
God is worthy of worship (Exodus 34:8-9). When Moses encountered our holy and perfectly immutable God He met a person (for God is personal) worthy of worship. Moses wasn’t worshiping an idol or a concept; He was worshiping a person. Verse 8 notes that Moses bowed down and worshiped God. Moses’ worship consisted of confession, repentance, adoration and requests for provision and guidance.
God is looking for this type of worship. People willing to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-26) are the same type of people whose lives are aligned with God’s holy character and live in accordance with it. B&R