There are a lot of ideas floating around as to the nature of God. Some descriptions sound like a grandfatherly teddy bear; others, a drill sergeant. Some believe He determines everything that happens, good and bad, while others accuse Him of not caring what happens. Many people believe in multiple gods, but others aren’t sure there even IS a God. However, the Bible teaches that there is one God and that He cares deeply about our lives.
While reading the Bible today, I came across God’s own description of His nature. He was speaking to Moses on Mt. Sinai at the time He was giving him the Ten Commandments. This autobiographical sketch is recorded in Exodus 34:6–7. God said, “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; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
Earlier, God had revealed Himself as the ONLY God, to be known as “I AM.” This name means He is self-existent, without beginning or end. No one created Him; He’s always existed. Here in Exodus 34 God provides a more complete picture of His personality.
What a marvelous God we serve. Reread His description. He’s tender, patient, loving, and ready to forgive. But make no mistake, God is not a push-over. All of us are guilty of choosing our own way, rebelling against God, or being indifferent to Him. He is ready to forgive, though. However, He warns that it won’t go well for those who continue to rebel against Him.
These qualities show that God isn’t distant. He is intimately acquainted with all our ways, and He knows all about us. He cares about our lives. He is not emotionless, like some stoic Spock on Star Trek. He loves us. He knows that we often choose our own way instead of His, but He’s ready to forgive such foolishness and pride.
To demonstrate God’s love, He entered our world as the man, Jesus. He did this in order that each of us could come into a personal relationship with Him. Through Christ, God has made a way to become our personal Heavenly Father. The Bible reveals that Jesus’ death on the cross was payment for all our sins, or wrongs. A well-known verse is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Let me encourage you to take time to consider each of these character qualities of God. Record some personal notes about them. Then be sure to thank Him for each one. And if you haven’t yet asked Christ to forgive you and take over leadership of your life, I hope this blog encourages you to do so soon.