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This passage is nothing more than a repeat of a familiar theme throughout the Scriptures. In fact, part of this passage is a quotation of the very description ("name") that God gives for himself, when he appeared before Moses:
The LORD came down in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed his name, "the LORD."
The LORD passed in front of Moses and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and kind God, who is slow to anger and abounding in kindness and faithfulness, who shows his love to thousands of generations, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin, yet does not let the guilty go unpunished, punishing the children for the sins of the parents, to the third and fourth generation." (Exodus 34:5-7)
Many people become offended when they read such verses. But what is the conduct of the godly person?
Moses immediately bowed, with his face touching the ground, and worshiped. (Exodus 34:8)
At first glance, it might appear that the phrase "mighty God" does not occur in this passage. Yet it must be remembered that our study includes all instances in which the Hebrew word for this concept occurs. In this instance, the Hebrew word is translated as "powerful" (in the NIV translation). In some other translations the word is translated as "mighty." (It might be of interest to note that the use of the word "mighty" in the phrase "mighty are your deeds" is another Hebrew word that emphasizes the greatness and vastness of those deeds.)
It might be beneficial to read the entire chapter, to learn more about the way God's great love and his judgment "co-exist." They do not "contradict," as some (who do not submit to God's Word) might claim. (Their concept of "God" is nothing more than an "image" they have concocted in their own minds. It never came from Scripture.) How are God's "great purposes" and "mighty deeds" (verse 19) displayed?
You may want to look for other passages which describe God in this manner. Examine the context of the verses you find. What do these verses reveal about our mighty God? How does this description of God compare with your concept of him (either now or in the past)?
What is your response to such a God? Do you respond in the manner that Moses did? Explain.
Do your prayers include the depth of worship and praise and adoration of God for who he is, as does this prayer? (You could also consider the prayer mentioned in the study about Nehemiah 9:32.) What might you learn about prayer (and put into practice) based upon this passage (and others like it)?
What does this passage tell us about "the mighty God"?
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Dennis Hinks © 1993, 2004
Scripture quoted from ... NIV (Jeremiah 32:18-19); my translation (Exodus 34:5-8).
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