This is a rather bold statement to write about "Who God Is". How could anyone really know who He is? Maybe if I held the thinking of many...God is out there somewhere and doesn't care about what is going on....after all look at all the catastrophic episodes which have occurred even in our own country...how could he care...he is a hands off God.
NOT. I am ever so impressed as I walk through passage after passage in the Word of God and see Him in His true nature...I find He has gotten a bad rap. Partially I think because we as Christians haven't always portrayed his nature in our every day lives and have become judges instead of tellers of good news. There is a time when warnings...strong warnings, are necessary in order to turn people back to God. Consequences happen for crimes committed in our judicial system, and consequences happen to those who continually kick against God's way of doing things.
When God created the universe, certain laws were put in place to govern or order how it worked. For instance, one law we live under is the law of gravity. In other words, if you jump off a 20 story building, you will fall and most likely die in the process. When we go against God's spiritual laws, death is also inevitable...not because He doesn't care, but because He wants us to live abundant and whole lives...full of joy and peace.
What about God's nature? Over and over again His nature is revealed throughout every book of the Word of God. In the book of Joel, God is pictured in this way..."for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness...". This is the same picture painted every time you read about the nature of God.
Gracious...this is a very interesting word...it means favor. Think about the word favorite which comes from this word. As a child of God, we are His favorites. This is good, wouldn't you say? Someone who walks in favor is abundantly blessed because, well, simply, because he is loved. It doesn't always have anything to do with what he does or does not do!
Merciful. In other words, God is compassionate or "loves deeply". This word is used only of God. God's love is deeper than anything man can grasp. Even the giving of Christ upon the cross is a "deeper" love than we can fathom.
Slow to Anger. The word anger holds the meaning of one deep breathing through their nose with their nostrils flaring. If you have ever watched certain people when you see an internal storm brewing, they exhibit this trait. But God, though He may become angry, knows how to control His anger. There have been cases where He would hold his anger back for hundreds of years, allowing people time to change and turn to Him.
Jonah was sent to an evil nation because of God's great love for those people. Prophets have been sent to every generation to beg people to change their ways. God in the flesh...Jesus...came to offer Himself as a sacrifice to atone for man's sins out of God's love and slowness to anger.
He sent us to show the love of God and the free gift given in order to restore.
He is kind. This is His goodness and favor and mercy all rolled up into one word.
So, tell me, is this description of a God who is a hands off God? How about a God who doesn't care? No. Whenever I see his corrective hand in my life, I know it is because of His great love for me. Whenever I see his patience with those who are an irritant to me, I know it is because of His great love for them as well. Whenever I remember what Christ did for me, I am assurred His motivating characteristic is His love...His deep love...for you...and for me.