6 Moral Characteristics of God


In Exodus 33 Moses is having one of the many intense conversations he had with God. By this time Moses have seen the power of God manifested like no other man in the history of humanity. Nevertheless, Moses was not satisfied. 

The essence of this conversation was that Moses did not want to go forward with the plan of delivering God’s people, without knowing God more intimately. In Exodus 33:18 “Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” God answered in verse 19 by stating, “…I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” (NASB 1995) Later, in Exodus 34:6-7 we see God fulfilling his promise to Moses. God made a big introduction of himself and in this introduction, we see six moral characteristics of the character of God,

“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (NASB 1995)

  1. God is compassionate: This is the Hebrew word, raḥûm: meaning, “Merciful. It indicates a merciful and forgiving character and attitude. It is an important word defining the character of God, and every use is in reference to God.[1]
  2. God is Gracious: This is the Hebrew word ḥannûn: meaning “Gracious, merciful. This word is used solely as a descriptive term of God.”[2]
  3. God is slow to Anger: Thank God that he is slow to anger!
  4. God is abundant in lovingkindness: This is the Hebrew word ḥeseḏ: “Indicating kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, love, acts of kindness. This aspect of God is one of several important features of His character: truth; faithfulness; mercy; steadfastness; justice; righteousness; goodness. The classic text for understanding the significance of this word is Psalm 136 where it is used twenty-six times to proclaim that God’s kindness and love are eternal. The entire span of creation to God’s redemption, preservation, and permanent establishment is touched upon in this psalm. It all happened, is happening, and will continue to happen because of the Lord’s covenant faithfulness and kindness.[3]
  5. God is a God of Truth: All truth is found in God. The only thing that God cannot do is lie (Hebrews 6:18). We can trust HIM!
  6. God is a God of justiceWe have a lot of preachers presenting God as a fluffy God; they only talk about his love, but God is also a God of justice. Our sin, our transgressions brings forth iniquity that will affect up to the third and fourth generation. I want to make a point here; even as our sins and transgressions affect generations to come, the amazing thing is that in Exodus 20:5-6 the Bible tells us, “…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (NASB 1995) Look at the power of somebody who loves God versus somebody who hates God. Hate will affect three to fourth generations; however, for those who love God, it will positively affect thousands.  

Nothing on this earth is eternally trustworthy. You can have good products, good companies with a great vision and honest; but it will only take one generation and, at times not even that, for that company to go under and be completely unrecognizable. Nothing remains forever, everything and everybody eventually fails. The God that I serve is absolutely amazing! Only somebody with these attributes and moral character is able to self-imposed covenants from Noah to today. These self-impose covenants is what keeps humanity hopeful. In the midst of this fallen world only one thing is for sure; we can count on God.

From the fall of Adam and Eve, to the failure of a world that totally betrayed God, through humanity’s sins, transgressions and iniquities that continued after Noah, through the betrayal of a nation he birthed through Abraham (Israel) and, through the failure of the Law of Moses, God gave us the greatest gift of all, the Hope of Glory, His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 

The Apostle John summarized this way, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV) Beloved, His compassion, His graciousness, Him holding his anger, His abundant lovingkindness, His truthfulness and His perfect justice is still available for us today (Malachi 3:6). 


[1] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 1047.

[2] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 355.

[3] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 360.

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