Friday, July 28, 2017

How does it work?

It is clear that God’s pronouncement of His name (Exod 34:6–7) forms a beautifully balanced statement on the goodness of YHWH who is committed to His people but who nonetheless demands moral integrity. Flowing from the loving divine commitment to the people, YHWH allowed Himself to be persuaded by His mediator to renew the covenant relationship (Exod 34:8–10). Although the covenant was renewed, the second half of the divine self-disclosure (YHWH’s judgment), did not find any concrete application in the context of Exodus 32–34. It seems to me that Num 14:20–35 sheds significant light on the nature of the divine name, particularly on the logic of YHWH’s visitation. In fact, I have suggested that YHWH’s twofold response to Moses’ prayer (Num 14:20–35) provides an inner-biblical commentary on YHWH’s nature as revealed to Moses on Sinai (Exod 34:6–7). It is particularly the important relationship between divine pardon and covenant maintenance, and the much-debated logic of the divine visitation to the third and fourth generation, that receive an illuminating outworking in Num 14:20–35. To be more precise, YHWH’s judgment on both the rebellious wilderness generation and on their offspring exemplifies how His holy name (Exod 34:6–7) is enacted in a concrete situation.—Standing in the Breach, page 98

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