What does God say about Himself? How have we experienced God for ourselves? In Exodus 34 we read a passage where God describes Himself by saying “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 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.” In some translations we read that the “the Lord is slow to anger”, but He is so much more than that, He is longsuffering. But what does that mean? God does not just “put up with us”, but rather He has committed Himself to us and He honors that commitment. Jesus never demanded that we understand Him, but what mattered to Jesus was telling the truth in a way that could be understood and accepted. He makes Himself known in ways we can understand. He never hardened His heart to those who hardened their hearts to Him. That is commitment. But we have a role in understanding, it is not just a teacher’s job to make sure the student learns, but the student must be open to understanding and have a willingness to change. This morning I pray that as we learn what it means when God says He is longsuffering, that we would recognize the places where He has been longsuffering with us and that we would be willing to be shaped and change how we respond.