And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
Sometimes when someone is having a bad day on the golf course, you have to tell him or her “nice chip” and “kick it” back to them before they pull out their putter. It wasn’t close enough for a “gimme”, but he or she was in need of something positive. It didn’t cost us anything.
God’s favor on man is one thing, but his grace and mercy bestowed upon a sinful man is quite another. “Compassion” is defined by Merriam-Webster as the sympathetic consciousness others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Christ has continually showed mankind compassion and mercy. In the scripture above, God promised mercy and grace on Israel who had continually disobeyed his direction. His compassion was not based upon anything they did to deserve such a blessing. His grace and mercy was solely the result of His righteousness and sovereign will.
Man has never merited God’s favor. His purpose and good will is given to reflect His glory and lead a lost people into salvation. Just as the chip to six feet is not deserving as being labeled as a gimme, our salvation was bestowed upon us as a result of pure compassion and mercy from our long suffering Savior.
How did God reveal His compassion unto man? In Titus 3:5, it was written, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” The love of God is first introduced to man by His renewing and regeneration. This love and compassion is the pathway unto salvation which reveals all grace and good works.
Moses requested God to “show me your glory.” God responded by assuring him that He would make all of His goodness pass before him. In our present form, we are unable to physically withstand such a presentation. However, (and albeit in no less outstanding fashion) the Holy Spirit abides within each believer today. His presence leads us unto compassion toward our fellow man whether his actions merit it or not.