God's Character: Lovingkindness and Truth

When speaking of His compassionate and gracious character to Moses, God spoke of abounding in lovingkindness and truth.

Then Yahweh passed by in front of him and called out, "Yahweh, Yahweh 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, LSB)

1. When you encounter a possible association of ideas (lovingkindness and truth), it is worthwhile to do a quick concordance check to see if there is an association and how that association helps you understand God better.

a. Go to Legacy Bible online (

b. Search for "lovingkindness truth." What comes up?

2. When God speaks of "lovingkindness," He is always referring to a loyal steadfast love that takes place between two parties that have a significant relationship between them, which in this case is His unilateral and unconditional covenant relationship with Abraham:

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your seed after you. (Gen 17:7, LSB)

God's covenant to Abraham is in response to Abraham's faith. When God speaks to Moses of "who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin" (Ex 34:7, LSB), who is He referring to?

3. To understand the meaning of "truth," see if there are any passages from you concordance study involving "lovingkindness and truth" that might provide some insight. What do you observe about Jacob's meaning of "truth?"

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two camps. And he said, "If Esau comes to the one camp and strikes it, then the camp which remains will escape." And Jacob said, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Yahweh, who said to me, ‘Return to your land and to your kin, and I will prosper you,' I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the truth which You have shown to Your slave; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. (Gen 32:7-10, LSB)

4. What is the significance of God's pairing of lovingkindness and truth when He speaks of Himself? Observe another passage from your concordance study: Psalms 69:13. For this challenging question, think carefully of salvation in both the Old and New Testament.

But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Yahweh, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the abundance of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with the truth of Your salvation. (Ps 69:13, LSB)

Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel because the Egyptians are holding them in slavery, and I have remembered My covenant. Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, "I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the hard labors of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their slavery. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out from under the hard labors of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am Yahweh." (Ex 6:5-8, LSB)

But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled." (Acts 3:12-18, LSB)

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