Divine Character

I recently taught on the ‘Crisis of Character’. With the term being defined as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”
(Essentially, how you think and why you think like that)

My focus was on the lack of character being demonstrated in society today and the importance of growing in God’s character and what that looks like.

I’d like to look a little closer at what God’s character looks like, how does He demonstrate it in His actions, and what does that mean for us?

You can find examples of His character on nearly every page of the Bible, some examples reflecting His heart such as, I Samuel 13:14, where it mentions His desire to seek out a man after His own heart, which apparently David fit this description.

Other examples show what is important to God, such as obedience to His commands instead of just performing sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22 “So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”

So let’s take a portion of scripture, in this case, Ecclesiastes, which isn’t necessarily an area we draw from regarding God’s character and see what we find.

Ecclesiastes 2:26 “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”

We can see in verse 26, that wisdom, knowledge and joy are gifts to the one who understands how to walk in ‘goodness’. A good person is valued in Gods eyes. If goodness is a value God holds in high esteem, we can reason that His character reflects this measure of integrity. God is Good. He therefore honors people with another reflection of His character…wisdom.

God is Wise. Jeremiah 51:15 “He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding.”

Sometimes, we see these values coupled with other aspects of His character, such as understanding and power.

God is Omnicient. Knowledge is a value of God’s character He holds in high regard. Daniel 2:21 “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.”

Colossians 2:2 “the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” God values this attribute so much that it is a gift He loves to give to those who seek it.

God is Joy. Nehemiah reminds us of where true joy originates in 8:10 “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” The joy of the Lord is another attribute of God’s character and He loves to share it with us. We see joy expressed through out the Bible, whenever the Lord intervenes, whenever people walk in faithfulness before Him or remember His promises. The Psalms is a continual expression of joy, most of which is a songbook of Gods faithfulness.

As I look a little further in Ecclesiastes, I see a reflections of the attributes of God’s character.

His beauty is expressed in chapter 4:11 also His eternal nature in the same verse and in verse 14. His perfection is likewise expressed in this same revelation and why He acts is revealed….{that men should fear}. People don’t like the thought of fear, but consider it for the moment, if you stood before God with even the short list of attributes I’ve listed here, would you not stand in fear? Fear shows a respect or acknowledgement of His position and power, He doesn’t try to frighten people, but His character reveals our lack of it and we know, we are in trouble. Isaiah was allowed this experience of standing before God and his response was, “woe is me, for I am undone!” The prospect of standing before our judge and being found guilty should be a terrifying prospect.

God is Judge. This is reflected in Eccl. 3:15, as God “requires an account of what is past.”, and in verse 17, where “God will judge the righteous and the wicked.”

I could reflect on the attributes of God’s character and the list would be endless. The question remains: what should our response be to this knowledge?

Ecclesiastes 5:1 “Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.” Prudence is reflected in a level of cautious understanding. Knowing how to approach the throne of God would do you well, your life is at stake when you walk in with that type of boldness. Verse 2 continues with what this cautiousness entails: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.”

The good news? God is a God of mercy. Daniel reflected on this Daniel 9:9 “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.”

How is God’s mercy and love and forgiveness demonstrated? At the Cross. John 3:16 sums it up well, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

So if you want to have a character like God’s character, if you want to be pleasing in His sight and be found worthy to stand before Him when your day of reckoning comes, the first place to begin is accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. His sacrifice on the cross was made on behalf of all those who would receive Him. When you repent of your sin, He is then faithful and just to forgive you of your sin and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.

Jesus’ perfect character is made manifest in you upon the Spirit of God filling you’re heart. Your heart begins to change because God is in it. You will be able to truly do ‘good’. As you walk in Him, He will teach you how to reflect His character to the world and your light will shine.

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