Bible Reading Plan
February 22nd: Character of God, Part 1 -- Dr. Tim Mackie (bibleproject.com)
In today’s study, we’re looking at the character of God as revealed to Moses in Exodus chapter 34. We see in this passage that though God is first and foremost a loving and merciful God, he will not ignore injustice or evil. We see in the story of the Bible that God is willing to put up with a lot of human failures.
Read and Discuss
Read: Exodus 33:1-34:9
In this story the Israelites have just violated their covenant with God by making the golden calf idol. God is angry and ready to walk away from his commitment to Israel, but Moses pleads with God to fulfill his ancient promises to Abraham and forgive the people’s sins. This is the context of Moses’ request to see God’s face, so he can know God’s character in intimate detail. And God reveals his mercy but also his commitment to justice in response to human evil. This story, and the words in Exodus 34:6-7, explore the tension between God’s mercy and judgment. This is the dilemma that drives the biblical story forward. How is God going to bring about his plan to renew creation if he’s committed to doing it through flawed and faithless humans?
Question 1: Read Exodus 34:6-7. What do you think it would be like to live in a world that had compassion but no consequences for wrongdoing?
Question 2: What do you think it would it be like to live in a world that had consequences for wrongdoing but no compassion?
Question 3: Why is it good to have both mercy and justice?