Theme: God – God is…
The magnitude of God surpasses the capacity of human comprehension. Still, Scripture encourages us on the path of understanding God. “Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord” (Jer. 9:24).
So, the question is, how can we even begin to comprehend the incomprehensible? Obviously, we need to begin smaller. As is also true of ourselves, God is not simple or single-faceted in His nature. Our previous readings under the theme of God have already delved into His sovereignty, His holiness, and His majesty and glory. This week we’ll look into several other attributes.
Our first group of passages serve as catalogues of some of God’s greatest qualities. Following that we’ll focus on God’s love, His righteousness and justice, and finally His goodness and kindness.
Readings and Introductory Comments:
Exodus 34:6-7; Numbers 14:18; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 9:31; Psalm 86:15; 103:8; 145:8-9; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2
God is gracious and compassionate and merciful. These passages all string together series of qualities of God. No matter what else we may be prompted to think of God, these are always true of Him and should not be forgotten.
Deuteronomy 7:7-9; John 3:16; Romans 5:3-8; 8:35-39; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:4-7; 3:14-19; 1 John 3:16-18; 4:7-21
The fact that God is love is one of the very best known statements in Scripture about God’s nature. The two references from 1 John are far from the only such statement. God’s love is expressed repeatedly throughout Scripture.
Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 5:8; 7:11; 9:7-8; 11:7; 31:1; 33:5; 35:28; 36:6, 10; 45:4; 48:10; 50:6; 71:19; 85:9-13; 89:14; 97:2; 98:9; 111:3; 112:4; 116:5; 119:137, 142; Isaiah 5:16; 9:7; 41:10; 45:13; Romans 3:21-26
Though one can find any number of combinations of these numerous qualities of God in a variety of places in Scripture, two that are quite frequently paired are God’s justice and righteousness. There are a number of passages to be read in this list—particularly from Psalms—most are single-verse readings.
We devoted an entire week to readings on God’s holiness, it would be easy, and perhaps preferable, to do the same with God’s righteousness and justice. If one were to create a “short list” of qualities that describe God and must also be true of His children, the list would certainly contain these.
Romans 2:4; 11:22; Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 2:3
We finish this week’s readings with a series of texts extolling both the goodness and kindness of God. When we consider the godliness which is to be a part of our lives as His children (see Titus 2:12), these traits would be an excellent place to begin.
- What traits and qualities does God claim for Himself in these verses?
2 Chronicles 30:9
- Because God is gracious and merciful, what will He not do?
- Because God is gracious and merciful, what should men do?
- What had God “set” upon His people? (v. 7)
- What did God’s love prompt Him to do?
- What has been poured into our hearts? (v. 5)
- How has God shown His love? (v. 8)
- What can separate us from the love of God? (vv. 38-39)
- How is the Son of God described for whom Paul lives his life by faith?
- Read these verse in the ESV or NASB. What has God done for us “in love”?
- When did God love us? (v. 5)
- What surpasses knowledge? (v. 19)
1 John 3:16-18
- How do we know love? (v. 16)
1 John 4:7-21
- From where is love? (v. 7)
- What should we do since God loved us? (v. 11)
- What kind of judge is God?
- With what does God judge the world?
Psalm 36:6, 10
- What is God’s righteousness like? His judgments? (v. 6)
- What fills God’s right hand?
- How far does God’s righteousness reach?
- What do righteousness and peace do? (v. 10)
What are the foundations of God’s throne? (see also 97:2)
- How does God show Himself holy?
- With what will God uphold us?
- How has the righteousness of God been manifested? (vv. 21-22
- Why did God show His righteousness? (v. 26)
- What is to lead to repentance?
- What is paired with God’s severity?
- What appeared when God saved us? (vv. 4-5)
1 Peter 2:3
- What may we “taste” about the Lord?
- In what ways is God merciful and gracious?
- When God’s actions don’t set well with our understanding of goodness and kindness, how do we proceed in our thinking about God?
- What do I hold to as proof of God’s love for me, personally?
- If God is characterized by goodness and kindness, how, in practical ways, might I become more godly?
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” (Ex. 34:6-7)