Who is God? He is merciful.

Who is God?

He is merciful. Mercy means a person is spared a penalty he actually deserves. The first reference to mercy in the Bible is found in Genesis 19, where God shows mercy to Lot and his family. The angel takes them by the hand and saves their lives—except that Lot’s wife looks back and is punished with death. Lot recognizes God’s mercy. He was spared from death, even though he deserved punishment with the others in Sodom.

God’s mercy is forever.

  • For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations (Psalm 100:5).
  • But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children (Psalm 103:17).
  • In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer (Isaiah 54:8).

Mercy goes with grace—God’s undeserved favor. Being spared a penalty we deserve and receiving totally undeserved favor is what salvation is all about.

  • The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy (Psalm 103:8).
  • Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful (Psalm 116:5).
  • And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil (Joel 2:13).

God is merciful to save sinners.

  • And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:13).
  • For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:12).

Now, that’s mercy! God doesn’t even remember our sins. How do we react, as Christians? We also show mercy to others, being forgiving, holding no grudges.

The prophet Micah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, put it this way: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)

When Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, he described a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan’s response to a man who’d been robbed and beaten and left to die beside the road. Jesus asked, Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise (Luke 10:36-37).

God is merciful. Praise Him that He spares us from the penalty we deserve.

We should be merciful. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).

Forgetting others’ sins against you is a huge part of being merciful. Let’s be good forgetters, kind, gracious—immitators of Christ. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).

I am thankful God is merciful, aren’t you? Praise Him.

Who is God? He’s good.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “God is good, all the time.” Of course, that’s true. But, it goes much further than the statement. God is goodness itself. It is Who He is.

Maybe we could think of it this way: God = good.

His essence is goodness. He’s the embodiment of goodness. His intentions are good, actions are good, plans are good … we could go on and on.

There are many profound statements in the Bible about God’s goodness. Let’s look at a few of them. I picked out some recurring themes. Feel free to comment and add others you’ve thought of.

How is God good?

He gives good gifts. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). Jesus said, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11)

God’s commandments are for our good. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day (Deuteronomy 6:24).

He wants us to be strong and courageous, because He is our strength. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9). Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD (Psalm 27:14). The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him (Nahum 1:7).

God is worthy of our praise. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid (Ezra 3:11). Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness (Psalm 143:10). The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works (Psalm 145:9). I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good (Psalm 54:6).

The Lord provides salvation. Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way (Psalm 25:8). O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Psalm 34:8). Jesus said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine (John 10:11, 14).

And, the most encouraging thing of all, because of God’s goodness, He actually keeps working in our lives, so we can serve Him. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Psalm 34:8).

For the first “Who is God?” post, you can read it here.

Who is God? the beginning

I’ve been encouraging someone to praise God for Who He Is and decided it would be a blessing for me to renew my knowledge about the identity of God. The problem I faced was where to begin: attributes, names, qualities? I thought of the beginning of the Bible.

No sooner did I recite Genesis 1:1 to myself than I realized I already had two answers.

Who is God?

Eternal. In the beginning God. He was already there before the world was made.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God (Psalm 90:2).

Want a blessing? His mercy is as eternal as He is. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children (Psalm 103:17).

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them (Deuteronomy 33:27).

Jesus is eternal as well. He was right there in the beginning of the world. You can’t divide the Godhead—three persons in one. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3).

The Holy Spirit is also active in creation. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (from Genesis 1:2).

So, God is eternal, He was present in creation: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). What else do we see about God in this first verse of the Bible?

Creator. What did He create? Two things: heaven and earth—the whole universe.

To me, this is one of the most amazing things about God, because the creation of the universe is so absolutely infathomable.

I love choosing one little category and thinking about the variety in the one thing. You can pick anything: birds, animals, flowers, trees, minerals, stars, sea animals…. Study the variety around you, and then study all the other things in that category from other parts of the world. Your list will go on and on—and scientists are constantly discovering more. After thousands of years, we still haven’t seen all the things God created. (On my Pinterest—you may follow me—I have boards on all of these categories and more. It’s just amazing to see the creation in photos!)

One day, when our children were little, we went on a walk in the countryside. As children like to do, they were picking wildflowers along the road, gathering bouquets of beautiful flowers in their little hands. When we got home and put them into vases, we counted the different kinds of flowers. They had picked no less than twelve different varieties of purple flowers, alone, and with them, yellow, pink, and orange. Wildflowers are delicate, intricate, and absolutely gorgeous. They are only one aspect of God’s creation.

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Luke 12:27-28)

God is eternal. He always was and always will be. Only God is eternal.

God is Creator. God created the whole universe by the power of His Word. He spoke, and everything was made—except for man and woman. We are special creations, created in His image.

Praise Him for Who He is, today.