The traditional Jewish mercy traits of God from Exodus 34:6-7
Exodus 34:6-7 JPS And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed: ‘The LORD, the LORD, God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; 7 keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, 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 unto the fourth generation.’
B1 The Lord
C1 The Hebrew word is יְהוָֹה Yhvh. It means the one bringing into being, life-giver and/or the one who is: i.e. the absolute and unchangeable one, Ri; the existing, ever living.
C2 John, speaking of God, writes:
D1 Referring to the Lord Jesus John 1:4 EMTV In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
D2 Referring to the Lord Jesus John 5:21 EMTV For as the Father raises up the dead and gives life, thus also the Son gives life to whom He wills.
D3 Referring to the Holy Spirit John 6:63 EMTV It is the Spirit who makes alive; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
D4 Referring to the Lord Jesus John 11:25 EMTV Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
D5 See also John 14:6, Acts 3:15, Acts 17:25, 1 Corinthians 15:45, Revelation 11:11, etc.
C3 The first trait concerning God is that He is life, has life in Himself without prior cause, and can create life.
B2 The Lord—this is repeated for emphasis. He and only He is life.
C1 The Hebrew word is אֵל ʼêl. It means ultimate strong and mighty.
C2 God is both
E1 Psalms 139:4 NASB77 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, Thou dost know it all.
E2 Hebrews 4:13 GNB92 There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves.
E1 The Lord Jesus practiced this as seen in the Gospel of Mark where He had authority over the weather, demons, sickness, hunger, the devil, death, etc.
E2 Isaiah 43:13 NASB77 Even from eternity I am He; And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?
E3 Matthew 19:26 NASB77 And looking upon them Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
C1 The Hebrew word is רַחוּם rachûwm. It means: This root refers to deep love (usually of a “superior” for an “inferior”) rooted in some “natural” bond. [Source in TWOT]
C2 Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. Since He is the King of all kings, lawmaker, judge, etc., He can show mercy. There are conditions that He sets and is noted in the context of the Bible passage.
D1 Titus 3:5 GNB92 he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us.
D2 1 Peter 1:3 AFV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
C1 The Hebrew word is חַנּוּן channûwn. It means depicts a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need [Source is TWOT].
C2 Grace is receiving what we do not deserve.
C3 Note both concepts (has a need plus heartfelt response): Ephesians 2:3-8 NASB77 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
C1 The Hebrew word is אָרֵךְ ʼârêk. It means: Applied to either God or man it is used most frequently in construct to the word ’appayı̂m, and is translated “longsuffering, slow to anger/ wrath.” Literally, when the Bible says God is “longsuffering.” [Source is TWOT]
C2 It takes a long time for God to become angry. Compare the long time He gave Moses in Exodus 3-4:17.
C3 2 Peter 3:9 NASB77 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
B7 Abundant in goodness
C1 The Hebrew word for goodness is חֶסֶד cheçed. It means: The beautiful story of Ruth is tarnished by considering Ruth’s action as motivated by contractual obligations. The Lord had no obligation to get the widows new husbands in Moab (1:8–9). Ruth went with Naomi from pure love. Boaz recognized her action as goodness in 2:11–12 and calls it ḥesed in 3:10. [Source is TWOT]
C2 The principle by example is given in Esther 2:9 ESV2011 And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem.
C1 The Hebrew word is אֶמֶת ʼemeth. It means: The basic root idea is firmness or certainty. In the Qal it expresses the basic concept of support and is used in the sense of the strong arms of the parent supporting the helpless infant. [Source is TWOT]
C2 Thus truth is related to reality and God’s character. He cannot lie. His word is good.
D1 God cannot lie. Titus 1:2 NKJV in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.
D2 Psalms 146:6 AMPC Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, Who keeps truth and is faithful forever.
D3 God does have conditions. This principle is taught Psalms 25:10 WEB All the paths of Yahweh are loving kindness and truth to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
D4 Truth is a characteristic of love. 1 Corinthians 13:6 NIV Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
B9 Keeping mercy
C1 The Hebrew word for keeping is נָצַר nâtsar. It means to guard and protect.
D1 Deuteronomy 32:10 NIV In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.
D2 Psalms 31:23 NLT Love the LORD, all you godly ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
B10 Forgiving iniquity
C1 The Hebrew word for forgiving is נָשָׂא nâsâ.
D1 It means:
E1 The second semantical category, of bearing or carrying, is used especially of bearing the guilt or punishment of sin.
E2 The third category stressed the taking away, forgiveness, or pardon of sin, iniquity, and transgression. [Source is TWOT]
D2 Forgiveness is to carry away the guilt and punishment of sin.
D3 God forgives if people meet His conditions.
D4 The Messiah Jesus did just as is prophesied about Him. Isaiah 53:12 NIV Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
D5 Psalms 25:18 NKJV Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.
C2 The Hebrew word for iniquity is עָוֺן ʻâvôn. It means to bend, twist, and to distort…Moreover, as the above references indicate, it denotes both the deed and its consequences, the misdeed and its punishment. [TWOT] THE standard of right and wrong becomes bent, twisted, and distorted. Usually this happens because people want to sin and then try to find an aberrant explanation of God’s words and law to justify their beliefs and actions.
D1 Genesis 15:16 GNB It will be four generations before your descendants come back here, because I will not drive out the Amorites until they become so wicked that they must be punished.
D2 Isaiah 53:6, 11 NIV We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. … 11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
B11 Forgiving transgression
C1 The Hebrew word for transgression is פֶּשַׁע peshaʻ. It means rebellion [TWOT]. Rather than twisting and distorting God’s law (iniquity), people just plainly know the law but choose to deliberately break it.
D1 Ezekiel 2:3 NET He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the house of Israel, to rebellious nations who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted against me to this very day.
D2 Hosea 8:1 NET Sound the alarm! An eagle looms over the temple of the Lord! For they have broken their covenant with me, and have rebelled against my law.
B12 Forgiving sin
C1 The Hebrew word for sin is חַטָּאת ḥaṭṭā’t. It means
D1 The noun: miss the mark, disobedience.
D2 The verb: The verb has the connotation of breach of civil law, i.e. failure to live up to expectations. [TWOT]
D1 Moses speaking states: Deuteronomy 9:18 NLT Then, as before, I threw myself down before the LORD for forty days and nights. I ate no bread and drank no water because of the great sin you had committed by doing what the LORD hated, provoking him to anger.
D2 1 Samuel 15:23 NRSV For rebellion is no less a sin than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.
B13 Will not clear the guilty
C1 The Hebrew word for clear is נָקָה nâqâh. It means From the basic notion “to be poured out” the word may derive notions with either favorable or unfavorable connotations. [Source is TWOT]
D1 In the favorable sense: Psalm 19:12 NKJV Who can understand [his] errors? Cleanse me from secret [faults].
D2 In the unfavorable sense: Proverbs 11:21 NLT Evil people will surely be punished, but the children of the godly will go free.
Thus, from our passage we learn much about God and His character. He alone is life. He is omnipotent. He is merciful and gracious. He is longsuffering. He is good in His actions and plans. He is the final standard for truth. He is trustworthy. He is the protector. He is the only one who can forgive us of different types of sins (if we meet His conditions). He does not forgive those who persist in sin, do not ask, and meet His conditions.
A Few Thoughts about God’s Character from Exodus 34:6-7
Posted by Choco at 07:28 on 20 Dec 20
Labels: God’s Character Traits