May 21, 2017
Read: Exodus 34:1–9
Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 13–15; John 7:1–27
The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.—Numbers 14:18
Caricature artists set up their easels in public places and draw pictures of people who are willing to pay a modest price for a humorous image of themselves. Their drawings amuse us because they exaggerate one or more of our physical features in a way that is recognizable but funny.
Caricatures of God, on the other hand, are not funny. Exaggerating one of His attributes presents a distorted view that people easily dismiss. Like a caricature, a distorted view of God is not taken seriously. Those who see God portrayed only as an angry and demanding judge are easily lured away by someone who emphasizes mercy. Those who see God as a kindhearted grandfather will reject that image when they need justice. Those who see God as an intellectual idea rather than a living, loving being eventually find other ideas more appealing. Those who see God as a best friend often leave Him behind when they find human friends who are more to their liking.
God declares Himself to be merciful and gracious, but also just in punishing the guilty (Ex. 34:6-7).
As we put our faith into action, we need to avoid portraying God as having only our favorite attributes. We must worship all of God, not just what we like. —Julie Ackerman Link
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I worship You. You are holy, just, kind, and loving. You are God alone.
God is God alone.
INSIGHT: Have you been trying to see the form of God through the fog of your life? If so, you’re in good company. According to the apostle Paul, all of our present knowledge is seen “through a glass darkly” (1 Cor. 13:12 kjv). But since Jesus came, we don’t have to strain so much to believe in the goodness, justice, and compassion of the God Moses described. Now, in Jesus’s suffering and death, we can see far more clearly how God patiently loves us, allowing us to experience the consequences of sin while He Himself bears in our place the ultimate judgment that all sin deserves. Mart DeHaan
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