And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. – Exodus 34.6-7
We learn a lot about God in these couple of verses.
We learn the very sobering fact that God is righteousness and just. He can and must and will judge sin. If that was all we knew about Go things would be scary and hopeless. But we also learn that:
God is full of mercy
God is gracious
God is patient
God is full of goodness
God is full of truth
God is forgiving
The judgement for sin took place on the cross. God provided a way for us to escape the wrath that we all deserved. God poured out His mercy on the cross. God showed His grace at the cross. He patiently holds off His wrath to give everyone a chance to accept His mercy and His grace. God is good, every day and all the time. God is truth we can trust His perfect plan.
And God is forgiving. He gave His Son to provide forgiveness. All that is required of man is that we accept His forgiveness.
So though we deserve nothing but the wrath of God He has provided a way of escape. Through His mercy and grace and patience and goodness and truth and forgiveness we find our guilt covered by the blood of Christ. My guilt is still there – but God is happy to look on Christ and pardon me. Praise God for who He is.