God Names & Exegetes Himself

18 And he (Moses) said, “Please, show me Your glory.”
19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen….”

Exodus 34:5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” “The meaning of the divine name and thus the very person of God are revealed in the two texts. The first one exposes what God will do when he discloses His name to Moses on the mountain, and the second one exegetes the content of that meaning.
The first text anticipates the second. Moses wishes to see the divine glory and God permits him to see the divine goodness — tantamount to proclaiming the divine name in his hearing.”

Stephen G. Dempster
Dominion and Dynasty; A theology of the Hebrew Bible — pg. 105-106

What must not be missed here, if Dempster is correct, is that God binds up His name and the exegesis of His name not only with the idea of His graciousness, mercy, longsuffering, goodness, truth, justice and forgiveness but also with the idea of divine freedom, or as Calvinists prefer, divine sovereignty. God’s very name is and means His ability to have compassion and to not have compassion on whom He sovereignly chooses and refuses to choose.

Of course, legion are the name of the Evangelicals who refuse to accept this proposition. Per, the expansive Arminian camp inside Evangelicalism it is absolutely denied that this is the character of God’s name. God’s name is not “divine freedom,” but “divine lack of freedom.”

If God says is divine freedom is the very essence of who He is, doesn’t it teeter on the denial of God to deny God’s freedom? Of course this divine freedom operates in the context of grace, mercy, forgiveness, long-suffering and goodness but as Pharaoh discovered it also operates in the context of justice and wrath.

To deny God His essence by denying Him is divine freedom is to create an idol instead of God. Hard Arminians, never mind Open Theists have taken to themselves a God who is not the God as God names and exegetes Himself in Exodus 33 & 34.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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