Our images and pictures of God can only begin to comprehend the true nature of God. Today’s Bible verse reminds us of the mystery and unknown nature of the divine
The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, “The Lord.” Exodus 34:5a, 6
How does this aid your understanding of God?
Now read the passage the verse comes from and try to picture the scene. (Exodus 34. 1-8)
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself there to me, on the top of the mountain. No one shall come up with you, and do not let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; and do not let flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.’ So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, ‘The Lord.’ The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed,
‘The Lord, the Lord,
a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation,
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,
yet by no means clearing the guilty,
but visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
and the children’s children,
to the third and the fourth generation.’
And Moses quickly bowed his head towards the earth, and worshipped.
The passage is both mysterious and awesome. God is described as mystery yet also close at hand. Consider in your own life times when you have felt the wonder and mystery – the ‘otherness’ – of God and times when God has, at it were, stood with you.