Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The order matters

After the golden calf incident...
“It is interesting how the character creed found in Exod 34:6-7 revises and reverses the order of the attributes proclaimed by Yahweh in the Decalogue in Exod 20:5-6...One key revision is the loss of the phrase 'to those who love me and keep my commandments,' a change that takes the emphasis off of Israel's ability to respond to God's covenant demands (Moberly 1983:88). Even more significant is the reversal in the presentation of God's character. In this 'there is a radical shift from an emphasis on divine jealousy to an emphasis on divine mercy, grace, and loyalty without denying justice' (Widner 2004: 185). Yahweh's declaration in Exodus 34 emphasizes the first order of his character as mercy and grace: 'the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in covenant loyalty and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”—A Severe Mercy, pages 43-44

<idle musing>
That is some good theology. I like mercy and grace coming first—but without the loss of justice. Justice cannot be forgotten, otherwise you end up with cheap grace—and grace in not cheap; it cost God far more than we can imagine.
</idle musing>

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