Throughout the Bible we hear these wonderful words spoken by many of God's servants: "Your God is merciful, kind, gracious, anxious to forgive, full of lovingkindness, slow to anger." These words about God's lovingkindness are recited again and again by great men such as Moses, Jonah, David, the prophets and the apostle Paul (see Exodus 34:6, Deuteronomy 4:31, Jonah 4:2, Joel 2:13, Romans 2:4).
Some Christians may be surprised to know that Moses spoke of God's lovingkindness. After all, Moses was known as the Lawgiver, delivering stern admonitions about obedience to God's Law. He warned the people that if they refused to walk in righteousness they would be judged.
Yet Moses also had this great revelation about the Lord's lovingkindness. How did he learn of this aspect of God's nature? The Lord revealed it to him in the cloud of His presence:
"The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin’" (Exodus 34:5–7, my italics).
Even as Moses preached warnings about judgment, he always remembered this important aspect of God's character. Indeed, Moses urged the people, "When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them" (Deuteronomy 4:30–31).
Here is what the Lord is essentially saying about His interactions with us in our failure: "Take a look at my record of dealing with my children. They have failed me time after time. But then they cried; they reached out to me. And my heart is touched by the tears of all my children. I am moved with compassion when they return to me. That is my nature. I am touched by the feeling of their infirmities."
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon