Who Is God?
We all wonder.
The five-year old who just heard the story of David and Goliath for the first time.
The teen-ager struggling to understand their place in the world.
The young parents who just lost their newborn.
The philosopher who pursues a lifetime of knowledge.
The elderly who knows that it is just a matter of days till they will see Him face to face.
As a seminary student, I searched the scriptures diligently for clues as to the nature of God. I was trained in various study methods to discern the truths of God’s character from a multitude of passages. We spent hours upon hours reading, marking and cross referencing.
Then one day I ran across this passage. It took less than thirty seconds to read. This is where God himself tells us who He is. Simple. Short. To the point.
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him (Moses) and proclaimed His name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished….”
God uses eight descriptions to define himself. The first seven are merciful attributes.
Compassionate: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by
misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Slow to Anger: patient
Abounding in love: overflowing with love, the true kind of love
Abounding in faithfulness: overflowing with loyalty, steady in allegiance
Maintaining love to thousands: Love again. The only one mentioned two times. To thousands and thousands and thousands. To me too.
Forgiving: cancels our debts, overlooks our sin
The final attribute is justice. Ensuring that right is done.
Without justice the first seven attributes would also describe my black lab.
God’s grace and love are enormous. God’s justice is ever-present.
I feel a deep sense of awe in that this is God’s description of Himself, in His own words.
But isn’t all of scripture God’s words? Yes, of coarse it is.
Yet this paragraph carries more significance for me because it is a direct window into my Lord’s very own being. Of all the words He could have used, these are the special few He chose.
I believe that He would have us think on them very carefully!
Do you have any special scripture passages that speak to you about who God is?