“The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But he by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.”” Exodus 34:6-7 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/exo.34.6-7.NET
When the Lord identifies Himself, telling us Who He is, we should pay close attention, for this is our God, the only God to Whom we are all going to give account for the lives we have lived. Here God defines His character, promises His faithfulness, and warns of His punishment for those who reject Him. God is good, He is merciful, He is loving and forgiving, but He also holds men accountable and will judge people. This negative judgment results from His goodness being rejected by man’s unwillingness to obey God. God is holy, which makes Him judge humanity for their response to Him. He is loving and understands our weakness, so He is merciful and has provided a way to escape His judgment. We must take this escape if we are to avoid His judgment. His escape is Jesus the Savior. Only through confessing our sins to Him because we believe He took them upon Himself at the cross, where He was punished for them, can we escape the judgment to come. We believe we are made right with God because Jesus was punished in our place, and He rose again from the dead, proving God accepted His sacrifice. Now He appropriates to us His righteousness, His perfect life lived on earth that we cannot live so that we are holy unto God as beloved children of God. God is love. God is faithful to redeem people because He loves us. Still, if we remain stubborn and insist upon earning our own way to God rather than through the mercy and pardon of Jesus, God the Savior, then only the wrath of God remains for us. We, and quite possibly our children, will suffer eternally for that poor decision.