The Law is Merciful and Good
- Date: October 11, 2018
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exodus 33:19)
- From God Is Good
Let's turn to the book of Exodus for just a moment. I want to look at a couple of different passages that I think will be a blessing to us. Exodus 33, as the Lord begins to reveal Himself to Moses and the covenant is being established-that great Mosaic covenant that includes the Law. The Law is good and holy and just. What a great gift Father gave us in the Law! Some people see the Law as restrictive. The Law is our schoolmaster that prepares us for the lordship of Jesus in our life. It's the light that illuminates our path and keeps us from straying. The Law of God is what we hide in our hearts that we don't sin against Him.
Sinai was seen as something that was restrictive, many times, that was judgmental, but in the midst of God providing for us the safety restraints of the Law, that boundary of the Law, He reveals Himself to Moses. I think many times we lose this aspect of the Old Testament of who God really is. I want you to understand something: God was just as loving, just as long-suffering, just as merciful on Mount Sinai as He was on the cross, with Jesus dying for our redemption. Many of us lose sight of that. There isn't an Old Testament god and a New Testament god. God is good and He's good all the time. In verse 16, as Moses sought the Lord and he said, "If I found grace in your sight, then cause your presence to go with us. It will cause for us that partaking of holiness." "Holiness" just means to be separate (doesn't it?), to be set aside for God fully. "And the Lord said unto Moses [in verse 17], I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name." What a statement! Isn't that phenomenal? God knows our name. The hairs of our head are numbered, praise God! He says, "I have an intimate knowledge with you. I want to have an intimate relationship with you." We don't serve a God that's far off; we serve a God of intimacy, a God that we can know, a God that has revealed Himself to us through His Word, through the person of Jesus Christ.
"…I know thee by name. And he said…shew me your glory. Show me your divine essence. I don't' want to know about you, I want to know you." As Job cried, "I've heard of Him by the hearing of the ear, but now I've beheld Him." God speaks and says, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee" (Exodus 33:19). The goodness of God is something that's impossible for us to comprehend until we've glimpsed Him in intimacy. Until, in those times of the broken heart, He has embraced us. In those moments of being cast down and our hands hanging, He lifts our hands by the Holy Ghost to worship Him. So many times in tears, choking back tears, I've been there to then be able to hear, as God's intimacy rises up in me, "You're good! And Your mercies endure forever!" He said, "I'm going to cause my goodness to pass before you. I'm going to let you glimpse me. I'm going to give you this intimate moment…and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; [Yahweh, Elohim, I am! I'm going to let you see who I am, My essence. And you'll understand then that I am gracious and merciful] gracious to whom I will be gracious; and will shew mercy on whom I will show mercy."
Wow! That's an interesting statement. I don't want to get into the theological aspect of this right now, but God is sovereign, and He chooses when He will show us that mercy and graciousness. But He is a merciful God and He is a gracious God! Moses glimpsed Him at that time. He said, "You won't be able to see My face, but you'll be able to see the essence that's around me, you'll catch the glory and you'll understand who I am." When Moses came down from that mountain, he didn't have strictly the letter of the Law. He caught the essence. He caught the spirit of the Law of God. He saw God. He saw those tablets as merciful, though others saw them as restrictive. Others saw them as a judgment, and Moses saw them as justice.