When Moses asks to see God’s glory, God responds:
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and
gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity,
transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the
grandchildren to the third and fourth generations." (Ex 34:6-7)
Rooted in His love for human beings, God's compassion entails a sense of pity for sinful beings and prompts an act of mercy. From the
perspective of the holy God, any merciful action is seen as gracious, because He is under no obligation to help the profane. And because
He does, His character is magnified as a consequence of His generosity.
The meaning of God's graciousness includes His capacity to forgive – to pardon or release one from guilt or punishment.
In light of the inherent sinful nature of human beings and the failure of Mosaic legislation to make one holy,
forgiveness adds depth to God’s compassion and graciousness. Despite the apparent impossibility, God forgives and provides a way for a
relationship with a human being to be restored.
To learn more, see:
What Does God Say About His Character?
Grace in the Old Testament