The key verse in our reading today is verse 6 – “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” This truth about God is repeated over and over again in the scriptures. In Numbers 14:18 and Nehemiah 9:17 and Psalm 86 and 103 and 145, in Joel 2 and Jonah 4, as well as many other places where there are allusions to, and examples of this truth. God is a God who shows mercy to His people. He does bring punishment when it is called for and when all else fails, but the Lord always seems to find a way to be patient and forgiving.
In our passage today God is giving again His law to His wayward people, giving them a second chance so to speak. He opens the door once again to them, giving them another start in this business of being His people. He did not have to do this, but He does, because He is a God slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” God’s love does not blow hot and cold at every little twist and turn. His love is always strong and true towards us, even when the Lord brings His discipline!
When people ask me how things are going, sometimes I give a joking reply – “better than I deserve”. But, of course, it’ s not a joke is it? If we really got what we deserved from God, who would all be struck down in a moment by His righteous judgment for our real and true sinfulness. But God is patient with believers because of our standing in His Son, Jesus. And He is even patient with unbelievers, allowing them to carry on in life, even while they are rejecting Him.
So rejoice and be glad today that we have such a wonderful, gracious Lord, who is so merciful to us all the time.