Understanding God's Character

By Ronnie Wendt

In the Book of Exodus 33:18, Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” In other words, he asked God to reveal His character so that he might know Him more fully.

In reply, “the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,’ He said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live’” (Ex. 33:19-20).

Later, in Exodus 34:5-7, “the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him 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; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

God is the personal, eternal Creator of all that exists. And as the verses above illustrate, He has revealed to us all we need to know about His character in the Word itself. The best news is His character never changes. While the world evolves around us and chaos is everywhere, He remains holy and sovereign; steady in His gifts of goodness, justice, grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, peace, and joy. 

God judges our sin, but blesses our obedience. He is entirely good and acts in accordance to His goodness. He rules the universe with a consistent character. He is faithful, and anyone who seeks Him shall find Him. When the world ascribes our value to money, power, and appearance, He sees our worth through His eyes. We are worthy because He loves us and we are His. And, as He watches in pain when we exercise our free will and throw away His perfect plans, He waits patiently for our return. For He knows that upon our return to Him, we will experience the full joy He has for us in this world and in the next.  

Paul instructs believers to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). This joy begins when we understand and experience God’s character. We at Just Between Us (JBU) have put together a variety of articles on the many facets of God’s character to deepen your understanding of who God is and how He shows His abiding love for you. Spend some time checking them out. Maybe start with one or two articles, look for ways you can see God’s character in your own life, and then watch your understanding of His character grow.