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The attributes of God to Praise from A-Z series is now on the 12th installment! It's incredible how time has flown by and the series has continued to unfold. It's encouraging to see how the series has impacted others. I know personally, the series has made me grow closer to God as I learned His character. This series was a suggestion from my husband as I was trying to figure out what to write about next and God has blossomed it as time has progressed. This post will focus on the attribute of kindness (or lovingkindness as some translations will state). Make sure to follow the blog so you get a front row seat to new posts!
The Lovingkindness of the Eternal God
The lovingkindness of God is first mentioned in Genesis all the way through the New Testament. His kindness is usually detailed with supporting circumstantial evidence.
" . . .but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 9:24, NASB).
"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7, NIV).
"They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them" (Nehemiah 9:17, ESV).
Understanding the lovingkindness of God lies in turn with the evidence provided of His nature, and grasping the concept of the language. The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew. The word used for "lovingkindness" is deprived from the word "hecedh," meaning "to bend or bow oneself," "to incline oneself," "to be gracious or merciful." It is repeated some 30 times. However, like many English words, this Hebrew word also has many similar meanings depending on context. This word also means "mercy," "kindness," (repeated 38 times), and "goodness" (repeated roughly 12 times). The Hebrew word used in reference to the nature of God is "checedh," also employing the meaning "kindness." This word in particular references the forgiving nature of God as seen in the below scripture.
"but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:6, NKJV).
"Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you" (Psalm 63:3, ESV).
For further details regarding the explanation of the language used to describe the attribute of kindness, please see Bible Study Tools at their article below.
David Platt on the "Characteristics of God" via Southeastern Seminary on Youtube
One of the study's that one of the pastors wives at my church did to further disciple me when I first became a Christian was going through a virtue character study. This study compared the Biblical foundation of an attribute (like discretion) and compared it to its fleshly attribute (like indiscretion). Going through this study helped me to learn more about the attributes of God and His nature.
The link below provides virtue character quality examples from animals that are often paired with the Life Levels Biblical Study (can be found in the Store under Printables) to serve as evidence of how God weaved all of creation with His attributes and character qualities. Two particular virtue character qualities that pair well with the kindness attribute of God is forgiveness vs rejection and compassion vs indifference (found on page 4 of the Life Levels Biblical Study).
The kindness (lovingkindness) of God is so far immeasurable, yet He gives us a glimpse of this attribute as an expression of love in order to allow His disciples to grow closer to Himself and a way to show others the way to salvation. Stay tuned as the Attributes of God series continues and God characteristics are further studied. God makes parts of Himself accessible so no one can be with excuse of not knowing Him as even the animals have attributes of Him written into their DNA such as patience and meekness.
Attributes of God Letter C
Glory on High
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