Elul 4: The 13 Attributes of Mercy
Does the God of the TaNaKh show mercy? Or is it only the God of the New Testament?
Compare Exodus 34:6-7 with 1Corinthians 13
We are beginning the 4th week of the month of Elul. This week, we are focusing on the 13 Attributes of Mercy, a strong theme during this season of preparation for the LORD’s fall Holy Days. What is mercy (in Hebrew, rachamim/ רַחֲמִים). Generally, rachamim is translated: love tenderly, pity, sympathize with, have compassion on. However, it also includes showing kindness to the undeserving, and forgiving the guilty.
A common theme of Elul are the 13 Attributes of Mercy, based on Exodus 34:6-7 (when Moses ascended Mt Sinai with the 2 stone tablets after the golden calf incident):
“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 [truth], keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation,” Ex 34:6-7, ESV.
Below are the attributes the LORD lists in the above Scripture:
- The LORD – His personal, covenant-keeping name (YHWH)
- The LORD – repetition of The LORD for emphases
- A God – Almighty, the Creator
- Merciful– compassionate
- Gracious– shows grace and favor to the undeserving
- Slow to anger – patiently awaits our repentance
- Abounding in steadfast love – directed toward both the righteous and the unrighteous
- Truth – means firm, stable, reliable, faithful. He is fair and just.
- Steadfast love for thousands – His generational love is endless
- Forgiving iniquity – forgives intentional sin
- Transgression– a strong term for sin; open rebellion
- Sin– unintentional sin; because of not paying enough attention, carelessness, error
- Visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the 3rd and 4th generation – He does not allow the guilty to go unpunished
- Jot down the similarities between the attributes of mercy in Exodus 34:6-7 and those listed in the love chapter: 1Cor 13.
- This week, meditate on the ways He shows His mercy to us … every day!
- Each day, look at the stone I gave you last week. Ponder “Where will I throw my stone so that I can impact the world for my LORD and Saviour?” Ponder: will my “stone” change the course of those around me by showing His mercy?
God has a message for us: we need to allow these attributes to become a part of our very lives.
“Father, again You show us Your unending love. Your mercy. Help us to be aware of Your constant signs of love, like little billboards along the highway of our lives. Help us to develop these same characteristics. Help us to extend them to those around us. Bless all of our intercessors. You have intervened amazingly during this season of Elul and in helping us prepare for Your High Holy Days. We pray for emotional, physical, and financial healing for all our intercessors and those on our list. Heal inter-family and inter-personal relations. Turn the hearts of our children and all Americans back to You. Be with our soldiers. We continue to stand against all ills attempting to harass them and their families. Bless our volunteer prayer army. Pray for our country – for those in Texas. Be with the persecuted church and believers serving You on the field. Be with the Israeli believers. Bless them. Give them Your favor. In Yeshua’s Name, we ask these things.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Houston – the US!!!
- Pray for America.
- USA: Wisdom for our leadership and their health, their direction. Prayer for their safety.
- Israel: peace and righteousness.
- Protection of the persecuted church.