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WEEK ONE: Show me who you are 


The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Exodus 34:6


*Much of the content for this week is adapted from the Bible Project’s Character of God series (

Day 1

Day 2 

Day 3 

Day 4

Day 5 

Day 6 

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Monday//Day 1: The LORD, the LORD

As we prepare for Jesus’ journey to the cross, we turn our attention to who God is as we meditate on His self-proclaimed name in Exodus 34:6.  This passage is the first description of God’s attributes found in the Bible, and it’s also the most referenced passage in the Bible. 


Tim Mackie from the Bible Project describes this passage by saying, “Here we learn that all of God’s actions are an expression of these attributes: compassion, grace, patience, loyal love, and faithfulness. This list of God’s character traits has been carefully designed to help us see the meaning and importance of each trait in relation to the others.”


Take a moment to read through the verse slowly and prayerfully.


“The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,” - Exodus 34:6


Today we start with God’s name, The LORD, translated from the Hebrew, Yahweh.  This is the personal name of Israel’s God which was first revealed to Moses in Exodus 3. God is sending Moses to free His people, Israel, from the Egyptians and Moses asks, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13).  God answers, “I AM who I AM” or “I will be what I will be”.  He is the one that is and will be.  God’s existence doesn’t depend on anyone else.   


Then God tells Moses the version he should say aloud — Yahweh the God of our ancestors, He has sent me to you. Yahweh is the ancient Hebrew form of the verb “He will be”.  It is the original divine name for God and refers to the One who was, who is, and who will be forever.  


Why do you think this was important for Israel to know as God announced his plan to deliver them from slavery? How does God’s name help you understand who he is today?


Jesus is Immanuel which means “God with us”.  Jesus is the one that was, who is, and who will be forever.  How does this understanding of Yahweh and the connection to Jesus inform the way you approach the cross?  How does it inform the way you approach the world He came to save?


What does your heart want to say to Yahweh right now?



All-Consuming Lord, show me who you are.  You are the God who was, who is, and who will be forever.  You lack nothing and in You we lack nothing. My heart is filled with gratitude as I think of Your immensity and Your nearness.  Keep me in Your Presence today.  Amen. 


Tuesday//Day 2: A God Compassionate

“The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,” - Exodus 34:6


The passage tells us that God’s core character traits are rooted in generous compassion and loyal love.  But what does it mean for God to be compassionate? 


The word compassion is related to the Hebrew word for “womb” and is centered on a person’s core.  


Biblical scholar and author Dr. Carissa Quinn, deepens our understanding of compassion when she writes:

The word invites us to imagine a mother’s tender feelings for her vulnerable infant. It’s a word that conveys intense emotion, sometimes even translated as “deeply moved”.  Yet it isn’t just an emotional word.  It also involves actions and is used most often to describe God’s actions motivated by His emotions. When Yahweh reveals His character, He begins with compassion.  


Throughout the Bible, we see God compelled by compassion especially in response to the suffering and oppression of His people.  In the book of Isaiah, Yahweh compares Himself to a mother full of compassion for her baby when He says:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15&16)


Dr. Quinn goes on to say, “God is full of motherly compassion and He will rescue His people. He will do this by entering into the suffering of humanity. Jesus is Yahweh’s deep compassion become human. When we are in pain or see other’s suffering, we can be certain God is deeply moved to respond and He is there to meet us with his deep compassion.”


What comes to mind when you consider God’s compassion for his people being related to a mother’s care for her infant?


In the New Testament, we see Jesus comparing Himself to a mother hen and longing to gather His children under his wings to embrace and protect them.  Just as we see Yahweh being moved by compassion, Jesus embraces the sick, cares for the outcast, and comes near to the suffering.  Then in the ultimate expression of compassion, Jesus enters into death itself to rescue and bring us near to God.  


Jesus entered into the suffering of humanity to bring restoration. What are some of the ways Jesus embodies the compassion of God?


This is the same compassion that Jesus calls His followers to imitate. He invites us to embody the compassion of God by allowing ourselves to be moved by the pain of others and to participate in relieving suffering in the world.  


Describe the ways followers of Jesus are called to live out the same self-giving compassion of God. What is one specific example of how this could be practiced in the life of the Church today?



Compassionate God, show me who you are. Reveal to me the depth of your compassionate action toward me.  Fill me with power to imitate your compassion and come close to those in pain.  Amen. 


Wednesday//Day 3: A God Gracious

This week we are asking God to show us who He is as we meditate on His Name as revealed in Exodus 34:6. The second descriptor God uses for Himself is gracious.  The dictionary definition for gracious is courteous, kind, and pleasant. However, the biblical understanding of gracious is a rich concept that has profound implications for how we see God.  


Take a moment to be still and prepare your heart as you read Exodus 34:6 slowly and prayerfully.

“The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,”


Used only as an attribute of God, in the Old Testament the word “gracious” is a Hebrew word related to a noun often translated as grace or favor.  One meaning is delightful or favorable and it is closely tied to giving a gift motivated by delight.  The most extreme kind of grace is showing favor to someone who doesn’t deserve it — giving a generous gift to someone who should “get what they deserve” instead. 


To show this kind of grace requires a generous spirit.  It is no surprise then that the One who shows more grace than anyone is God.  We see this clearly displayed in His relationship with His people, the Israelites. The very story leading up to God’s revelation of His name portrays His gracious character.  In Exodus 32 and 33, the Israelites betray God and quickly break their promise to Him by creating and worshipping an idol.  Moses intercedes for the people and asks God to consider giving a gift they don’t deserve.  God says yes by showing the ultimate act of grace toward the Israelites - forgiveness and a promise to be with them. 


The gracious nature of God is so reliable that throughout the book of Psalms, people cry out for God’s grace when they are in need, sick, in danger, or in exile.  The prophets looked back to God’s grace in the past and boldly proclaim that God will one day show grace to His people by delivering them from death and ruin. When the Apostle John introduces Jesus, he declares that grace and truth have come through Him.  The Apostle Paul talks about how Jesus’ life, death and resurrection are offered to us as a generous gift of grace. It is a gift we do not deserve but we are invited to simply receive. 


When undeserving people cry out for God to be gracious (e.g., Psalm 4, Psalm 102, Isaiah 30:18-20) how does God consistently respond?  How have you seen God’s consistent response of grace in your life?


Jesus is God’s glorious grace become human. When people are willing to own their failures and ask God for grace, he has a consistent and generous response.  God gives the gift of himself - His life and love - this is what it means that God is gracious. 


Read John 1:14-17; how does Jesus fully embody God’s glorious grace?  What would it look like to imitate Jesus in embodying God’s grace to others? 


In what ways do you need God’s grace today for yourself? For your family/friends? For your neighbors? For your community? 



Gracious God, show me who you are.  Open my eyes to see the weight of your generous grace.  Steady my heart to trust in your consistent grace for what is still ahead.  Let your generous spirit of grace be embodied in me so that I can be a giver of grace to others.  Amen.


Thursday//Day 4: A God Slow to Anger

“The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,”  

Exodus 34:6


Often one of the more difficult things to understand in the Bible is God’s anger.  It can sometimes even seem that the God the Old Testament is a God of anger and wrath while the God of the New Testament is completely different.  We struggle to hold the tension of love and anger because of our polarized view of them.  In the Bible, God gets angry numerous times, but His anger is nuanced and interesting.  


If you were to look up the Biblical word anger in Hebrew, you might be surprised to find the words “nose, nostril, or hot nose”.  According to Bible scholar and pastor, Dr. Tim Mackie, a common Biblical way to say someone is angry would be to say “their nose burned hot”.  It evokes the modern-day image of a cartoon character getting red in the face until fire and smoke come out of their head.  


So, in Exodus 34:6, when God says He is “slow to anger”, the Hebrew phrase is actually “long of nose”.  It is another way to say that it takes a while for His nose to burn hot, aka, get angry. Now God doesn’t have a nose or get hot so this is a metaphor describing His patient nature.  Yet reading many of the Biblical stories, especially in the Old Testament, one might come to doubt the length of God’s nose, so to speak.  


God gets angry, but His anger is a response to human evil and is actually an expression of His justice and love for the world.  Just as you would get angry to see a child being mistreated or bullied, God gets angry when humans oppress each other and ruin His world.  God wouldn’t be good if he didn’t get angry over injustice and ultimately do something about it.


As you read stories of God’s anger, it’s important to notice how God expresses His anger.  Throughout the scriptures, God’s anger is shown by handing people over to the consequences of their own decisions.  This is clearly seen with the Israelites.  Over and over, they betray God and choose their own autonomy, squandering the many “second” changes God gives them.  So ultimately God, in His just anger, gives them what they want and they are turned over into the hands of their enemies.  


In the book of Romans, Paul tells us that God’s anger is being revealed against human evil.  Then three times he tells us what that looks like — God hands people over to their destructive desires and decisions.  But Paul also says God is patient, giving people time to come to their senses and change.  God is slow to anger which means He gives numerous opportunities and lots of time to change. 


Dr. Mackie reminds us that God’s anger is a response to human evil and it is based on a deeper character trait - His compassion and love. God is not content to let people sit in their own self destruction. God is on a mission to rescue.  


This is why Jesus said he was going to Jerusalem to die, as a demonstration of God’s love for His enemies.  Jesus would stand in the place of His people, who were choosing self-destruction, and take the consequences of their decisions on Himself.  In Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we see God’s anger at evil and his love for people working together to provide forgiveness and life for a humanity lost in self ruin.


So, God’s anger in the Bible is really important but it’s not the end of the story.  When God is angry and brings justice, it is because He’s good and He’s extremely patient, working out his plan to restore people to His love.  Our God is slow to anger. 


Take a moment and prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart.  Ask the Spirit to show you any lies you have believed about God and His anger — confess those to Him. 


In 2 Peter 3:9 we read one of the reasons behind God’s patience. Take a moment to read this passage. How would you interpret it? What does it suggest to you about God's character, and how does that change the way you see yourself and others?



Patient God, show me who you are.  Open my eyes to see what you hate and what you love.  God of restoration, help me to be slow to anger and give me courage to respond to human evil according to Your heart.  Amen. 


Friday//Day 5: A God abounding in Love

This week we have meditated on the rich meaning behind the self-revealed name of God.  Before we dive into the last two descriptors, take a moment to re-read the verse, remembering what God spoke to you with each descriptor so far.  


“The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,”  

Exodus 34:6


Ask the Holy Spirit to give you new revelation as we hold the phrase “abounding in love” with sacred wonder today. 


There are a few different versions of the attribute “abounding in love” depending on what Bible translation you are using.  Some translate it as loyal love, steadfast love, lovingkindness, or even goodness.  The Hebrew word found here is a bit complex in that it combines the idea of love, generosity and enduring commitment all into one. It describes an act of promise-keeping loyalty that is motivated by deep personal care.  


An example of this can be seen in the life of Ruth.  She is a foreigner who marries an Israelite man who tragically dies along with his father and brother.  All Ruth has left is her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, who has nothing to give her.  Naomi tells Ruth to leave and go back to her own people, but Ruth chooses to stay and take care of her mother-in-law instead.  As Ruth keeps her promise over time, others see this and call it an act of loyal love.  This love was not conditional or based on Naomi’s worth but rather was an expression of Ruth’s character.  


So, we see God is revealing to us the enduring nature of His love, as well as His commitment to keep His promises.  God’s generous loyalty to His promises comes not because of who we are or what we do, but because of who HE is.  This is seen time and time again in the Bible.  God chooses to keep His promise of love even when it is underserved, simply because it is consistent with His own character.  


“After centuries of Israel breaking their commitment and after humanity’s long history of violence and death, God still kept his promise in a dramatic and drastic way, by becoming human and binding himself to us in the person of Jesus.  The people who followed Jesus said that in him they encountered the God of Israel, who is full of loyal love and faithfulness. Jesus is the ultimate loyal and loving human and, in his life, death, and resurrection, God opened up a new future for all of us and all of creation.”  - Dr. Tim Mackie


Titus 3:4-7 gives us a good picture of God's loyal love at work in our world. 

“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)


In this passage, what does it look like when God’s loving character appears?


God is loyal and loving for no other reason than it’s just who He is. He is generous.  He is abounding in love.  He is eternally loyal to His promises.  Of course, He wants His people to respond with love in return but even when they don’t, His love still remains.  When we experience the power of God’s abounding love, shown through Jesus, it compels us to joyfully show love back to God and to others around us.  


God’s abounding love internally motivates Jesus’ followers to generously share what they’ve been given. What do you think it means for God’s love to be inside of a person? How does God’s love affect our actions toward those in need?



Generous and loving God, show me who you are.  Your kindness and love are beyond what I can comprehend.  You never break Your promises and consistently show forgiveness and love simply because of who You are.  My soul praises You for Your love endures forever.  Make me a generous giver of love like You.  Amen. 


Saturday//Day 6: A God abounding in Faithfulness

What does faithfulness look like? How would you describe what it means to be faithful?  What are other words that come to mind when you think of faithfulness? 


Truthful. Reliable. Sure. Trustworthy. Stability. Firmness. 


These are all words connected to the Hebrew word “faithfulness” used in Exodus 34:6. 

Read the passage a few times.  Each time, insert one of the above words in place of faithfulness. 


“The Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,”  

Exodus 34:6


In the Bible, when used of people the word faithfulness describes reliable and stable character or trustworthiness.  So, to say that God is abounding in faithfulness doesn’t mean that He just tells the truth or stands for truth, but it means He is faithful and trustworthy.  We can trust God to be consistent to His character.  


The first person we meet in the Bible who considers God to be trustworthy is Abraham. God makes a promise to Abraham that seems physically impossible.  Yet despite the obstacles, Abraham considers God trustworthy to make a way forward.  And God does show his faithfulness by fulfilling His promise and giving him a son, Isaac.  


King David consistently relies on God even from a young age.  He considers God to be faithful and responds with faithfulness. This is why God promises to raise up a descendant of David whose kingdom will endure forever.  This faithful King will become the source of trust and stability for others forever.  Through Jesus, God fulfills His promise to David and to the world. The Apostle Paul says that Jesus came on behalf of God’s faithfulness. Jesus is the faithful King whose kingdom will endure forever and who invites all nations to trust God.  


The Biblical story portrays a God who has been faithful all along and His promises are fulfilled in Jesus. So as we look out at the obstacles facing us and our world, we’re invited to take that same risk and join Abraham, David, and many others in trusting that God is abounding in faithfulness. 


What do you think it practically looks like to trust God when all seems lost?


How have you seen the faithfulness of God in your life in the past?  Where do you need to rely on the faithfulness of God for today and for the future? 


How can we, the Church, embody the faithfulness of God to the world? 



Faithful God, show me who you are. You are trustworthy and sure.  You do not forget or abandon your children.  You have been faithful before; I can trust You to be faithful again. Thank you for being our firm foundation.  Amen

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