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What’s in a Name? – August 31, 2023

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God.”
Exodus 34:5,6

What’s in a Name?

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Daily Devotion – August 31, 2023

Devotion based on Exodus 34:5,6

See series: Devotions

Why did you receive the name you did? If you have children, why did you give them the names you gave them? Maybe they were family names that were passed down. Maybe they were chosen just because they sounded good. Or maybe it was because of what those names meant.

On one occasion, a man named Moses asked to see God’s glory. God said no. But that came out of love for Moses. Sinners cannot see God and live. If Moses saw all of God’s glory, he would be destroyed. Instead, God had a better idea. He would pass in front of Moses in a way in which Moses would only get a partial view of his glory. As he did, he proclaimed his name.

In the Bible, God gives himself many names. And those names are not just nice-sounding words. Each one of those names tells us something about God. And when the Bible talks about God’s name, it doesn’t just refer to those titles like “God” or “Lord,” but to the many things we know about who God is and what he has done.

As he passed in front of Moses that day, God described himself so beautifully: “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”

Moses was leading a nation of people who had repeatedly lived in wickedness, rebellion, and sin. He himself was a weak sinner, just like you and me. We have not kept God’s perfect laws. We justly deserve God’s wrath and punishment. How wonderful to hear God describe himself as compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, loving and forgiving!

God proved that patient love to us when he sent his Son, Jesus, to live and die for every rebellious sinner. In him, we see God’s loving face. When we know Jesus, we know God’s beautiful saving name.

Lord, I am a sinner. I need your grace. Thank you for revealing your name of forgiving love and compassion to me, so that I can live in hope and peace. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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