Do You Know Him by His Name?

Bible Reading: Exodus 32; 33; 34:1-16, 27-35

Moses had already seen God's glory displayed more than probably anyone ever has. Yet he asked God, "Show me your glory" (33:18). God responded to his request, saying, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence" (33:19).

Early the next morning, Moses went up Mount Sinai, as the Lord had instructed him. "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, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin...'" (34:5-7).


When we named our children, we chose names that described the character we desired our children to develop. Our daughter's name, Cassandra Lynn, means God's helper and refreshing one. Our son's name, Casey Alan, means brave protector and peacemaker. As we watch our children grow, we are blessed to see them live up to their names as God is fulfilling those characteristics in them!

God chose his own name and told us its meaning so that we could know his character. This is God's name: "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" (34:6-7) That is how God identified himself to Moses and that is how God reveals himself to us when we seek his glory! It isn't what God aspires to be. It isn't how God acts most of the time, when he's having a good day or when he's on his best behavior. God isn't self-deceived. He knows who he is, and he wants us to know him as he is. He wants us to know him by his name, the Lord.... If we perceive him any other way, we can be confident that we are the ones who have misunderstood and misjudged.

When I need to see God's glory, he causes his goodness to pass in front of me, and whispers his name in my ear. When I stand in the midst of a trial, God stands there with me and proclaims his name to me. When I long to know why, when and how, I eventually realize that all I really need to know is who ...as God teaches me, little by little and day by day, who he is. When he doesn't reveal his plans and purposes, he reveals his name ...his character.

Lord, teach me to cling to the truth of your name. Help me to resist the tendency to define you by my experiences; rather, help me attempt to define my experiences in light of your character, trusting in what I know for sure--that you are who you say you are. Whenever I see your goodness and glory demonstrated, as you live up to your name, may it bring me to my knees in worship (34:8). May I be still before you in our own meeting place and allow you to speak to me "face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (33:11). As I spend more time in your presence, let my face reflect your glory and my life be transformed into your likeness (34:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). I pray all things in your name, "...the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness..." (34:5-6*). Amen

(*c.f. Num. 14:18-19; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2)