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Unfailing Love

Words of Faith Final

Unfailing Love

Words of Faith 6-22-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 14

        [10b] Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites. [11] The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? [12] I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they."

    [13] Moses said to the Lord, "Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. [14] And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, O Lord, are with these people and that you, O Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. [15] If you put these people to death all at one time, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, [16] 'The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath; so he slaughtered them in the desert.'

    [17] "Now may the Lord's strength be displayed, just as you have declared: [18] 'The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.' [19] In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now."


         It may have been tempting for Moses to simply agree with the Lord at this point!  Moses had given everything for the people, and yet now they were about to stone him.  The Lord did not take this lightly.  If necessary, the Lord was prepared to destroy the entire nation and start over with Moses.  But Moses interceded on behalf of the people.

         We cannot say that Moses saved the people through his appeal.  It was the Lord who extended His mercy.  But we can see the heart of Moses both in his love for the people and his concern for the reputation of the Lord. 

        Some have seen this prayer as a manipulation of God by appealing to God’s pride.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  By definition, God cannot be manipulated.  Moses appealed by saying that the only action the Lord could take was to manifest His great power by forgiving the people even though they would have to suffer His punishment somehow. The basis for this forgiveness would be God's great love-- "covenant faithfulness or loyal love.”

         Perhaps the goal of the Lord was for Moses to see things from a different perspective and consider how all this might play before other nations.  Perhaps the Lord wanted to see Moses’ heart for the people before going any further. 

        The truth is that Moses seems to have discovered something wonderful about God.  The Lord is just and does not leave the guilty unpunished, but the strength of the Lord is manifest in His great love (chesed).  According to this "unfailing love," the Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving of sin and rebellion.  This comes directly from the attributes of God, revealed to Moses after the first rebellion.  Now, these attributes were very practical!

         The truth is that there is no discovery greater than this: the unfailing love of the Lord God.  There are consequences to be paid and punishments to be made, but the love of the Lord is unfailing.  That is powerful.  The Apostle Paul said that three things will remain after everything else.  Faith, hope, and love.  The greatest of these is love, and love never fails (1 Cor. 13).

         Have you discovered God's unfailing love?  We usually discover it in a moment of our failure.  When we fail, He does not.  He can overwhelm our failure when we surrender to Him.  In this, we find genuine faith and hope.


        Father God, may Your strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 'The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.  Forgive me and show me the way of faith, hope, and love.  Keep me moving on the path toward Your promise. In the powerful name of Jesus.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.