What Goodness Looks Like

I used to struggle with a phrase thrown around my spiritual community, “God is Good all the time.” Like a good Berean though, I searched the matter out in scripture. The one who leads us into all the truth connected three parts of scripture together for me.

So what does ‘good’ look like?

The answers are found in Exodus and we need to follow the whole interchange between God and Moses to see the truth.

Moses asks to see the glory of God.

Exodus 33:17
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

God responds with the answer that he’s about to reveal.

Exodus 33:18
And He said, “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.”

We often think “glory” is just a manifestation such as a cloud, but God is a spiritual reality inside the cloud. Moses asks for the glory to be revealed, God answers with revealing his goodness (and His name).

Glory = Goodness of God

In the Hebrew understanding, a name (H8034 – Shem) represents the essence of what something is. When God reveals His name to Moses, he is revealing His essence.

Chapter breaks aren’t in the original texts and sometimes cause us to miss the full dialog between God and man.

The revelation comes in chapter 34, where God responds with what he told Moses he would show him.

Exodus 34:6-7
Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate [H7349] and gracious [H2587], slow to anger [H750,H639], and abounding [7227] in lovingkindness [H2617] and *truth [H571];
who keeps lovingkindness [H2617] for thousands, who forgives [H5375] iniquity [H5771], transgression [H6588] and sin [H2403].”

In these two verses, God’s goodness is revealed by the following seven Hebrew words:

1. Rachuwm (H7349) – Compassion. To fondle, to love, be merciful, the womb, bowels, cherishing a fetus. Wow!
2. Channuwn (H2587) – Gracious. To show favor, bestow, to bend or stoop in kindness towards an inferior. My latest working definition for grace is God’s power to do that which we can’t do for ourselves. By grace you are saved. My grace is sufficient for you.
3. Arek Aphim (H750,H639) – Slow to Anger. Literally long in the nostrils. God is so patient (longsuffering) with us.
4. Rab Checed (H7227,H2617)– Abounding lovingkindness. Mercy. Steadfast love. Best represented as a three-fold cord of love, kindness, and steadfastness.
5. Emeth (H571) – Truth, stability, certainty, trustworthiness.
6. Natsar (H5341) – Keeps, guards, preserves, watches over, keep close.
7. Nasa (H5375) – Forgives. To lift up, bear, accept, carry.
Avon (H5771) – Iniquity. To be twisted, bent, perverted. Sometimes comes through generation lines.
Pesha (H6588) – Transgression. Best characterized as rebellion.
Chattaath (H2403) – Sin. Missing the mark of God’s best. Often human failure.

Glory = Goodness = Nature of God (God’s DNA) revealed to man

1. Compassion
2. Grace
3. Slow to Anger
4. Love (Mercy)
5. Truth
6. Protects
7. Forgiveness of Iniquity, Transgression, and Sin (FITS)

You’ll notice that these seven attributes are reflected in the character of God’s goodness in Psalm 103 (David’s revelation).

You’ll notice that these seven attributes are reflected in the character of God’s love described in 1 Corinthians 13 (Paul’s revelation).

I’ll leave looking at these characteristics of goodness to you, the reader. Prepare to be encouraged!

Author: tdieterich

As someone who is getting to know and try to follow Yeshua, I'm trying share deeper things in the scriptures.

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