ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
|The Attributes of God - Part 1a
(v2) When I go
(v2) What I think
(v3) What I do
(v4) What I say
His Knowledge = too high
"There never was a time in which we were unknown to God, and there never will be a moment in which we shall be beyond His observation...This is a fact to be remembered every moment: sitting down to consider, or rising up to act, we are still seen, known, and read by Jehovah our Lord...Though Thou shouldst give but a glance at my heart, and see me as one sees a passing meteor moving afar, yet Thou wouldst by that glimpse sum up all the meanings of my soul, so transparent is everything to Thy piercing glance....The Lord judges our active life and our quiet life; he discriminates our action and our repose, and marks that in them which is good and also that which is evil. There is chaff in all our wheat, and the Lord divides them with unerring precision...This should fill us with awe, so that we sin not; with courage, so that we fear not; with delight, so that we mourn not....Behind us there is God recording our sins, or in grace blotting out the remembrance of them; and before us there is God foreknowing all our deeds, and providing for all our wants. We cannot turn back and so escape Him, for He is behind; we cannot go forward and outmarch Him, for He is before...Shall we not alter the figure, and say that our heavenly Father has folded His arms around us, and caressed us with His hand? It is even so with those who are by faith the children of the Most High...Such knowledge not only surpasses my comprehension, but even my imagination....Mount as I may, this truth is too lofty for my mind. It seems to be always above me, even when I soar into the loftiest regions of spiritual thought. Is it not so with every attribute of God? Can we attain to any idea of His power, His wisdom, His holiness? Our mind has no line with which to measure the Infinite. " (CHS)
Nothing is too difficult for Jehovah
What impossible situation or task are you facing today? Ask yourself this question: Is it too difficult for God? Run to the Rock that is higher than you & take refuge in His tower of strength (Ps 61:2-3 Read Spurgeon's devotional). Cry out to the God of the impossible & rest in His perfect wisdom, timing & power.
The omnipotent God is your Source of strength - "You cannot serve Him in your strength. You can only serve Him in the strength He gives as you need it. Here, take the bread, take the fish, and feed the thousands. Never say that it is not enough (Mt 14:17)" The omnipotent One "will multiply both the bread and the fish as it is broken and consumed. There will be more than you need. " (CHS)
(Click here for every use of the phrase "the eyes of the LORD" in the NASB)
God is everywhere all the time for as the psalmist says "He will not allow your foot to slip. He who keeps you will not slumber." (Ps 121:3)
Spurgeon remarks "A present God! I cannot suggest a theme to make you more courageous. You will find it exceedingly helpful and comforting to discover God in the unimportant things. You will find it exceedingly helpful and comforting to discover God in the unimportant things. If we had a God for only great things and not also for little things, we would be miserable. Blessed be our heavenly Father. He that wings an angel, guides a sparrow. He that rolls a world along, molds a tear and marks its track when it trickles from your eye."
Spurgeon adds that "the Puritans believed in an ever-present God. Oh to be able to feel God everywhere, in the little as well as the great, in our rising up and our sitting down, in our going out and our coming in. I cannot imagine a life more blessed or a spirit more related to the spirit of the glorified than the mind and heart of the person who lives in God, who knows and feels that God is ever-present. If you are in personal danger, or in the midst of a storm, or facing illness, and if you hear a voice saying, “Surely the Lord is in this place” (Ge 28:16) you will be perfectly at rest." (See Note)
For thus says the high & exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place & also with the contrite & lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly & to revive the heart of the contrite. Isa 57:15
"But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him Who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation." Da 4:34
(El Olam =
God of Eternity) Ge 21:33
Ps 90:1-2 Lord, Thou have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or Thou gave birth to the earth & the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou are God. (Click Spurgeon's note)
BEFORE ALL TIME
Heaven & earth will perish BUT He is ever the same & His years will not end.
"Of old Thou founded the earth & the heavens are the work of Thy hands. Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure & all of them will wear out like a garment like clothing Thou will change them & they will be changed. But Thou art the same & Thy years will not come to an end. Ps 102:25-27
"Thou art the same...God, the same in essence & nature, the same in will & purpose, Thou dost change all other things as Thou pleaseth; but Thou art immutable in every respect..." (Spurgeon)
God does not change
"It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows...The delight which the mariner feels, when, after having been tossed about for many a day, he steps again upon the solid shore, is the satisfaction of a Christian when, amidst all the changes of this troublous life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth-"I am the Lord, I change not." The stability which the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a hold-fast, is like that which the Christian's hope affords him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth. With God "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." What ever his attributes were of old, they are now ...He has ever been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in the day of trouble, and He is their sure Helper still. He is unchanged in his love. He has loved his people with "an everlasting love"; he loves them now as much as ever he did, and when all earthly things shall have melted in the last conflagration, his love will still wear the dew of its youth. Precious is the assurance that He changes not! The wheel of providence revolves, but its axle is eternal love." (Spurgeon's full devotional)
Are you riding on storm tossed seas today? Then cast your anchor onto the Solid Rock of the glorious truth that His character changeth not - He was the refuge for David & He can be your Refuge from the storm (Isa 25:4) your stronghold in the day of trouble (Nah 1:7). Why? Because....Jesus Christ is the same yesterday & today & forever. Heb 13:8-note
God does not vary
Man cannot plumb the depths or limits of God
"Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?" Job 26:14
Spurgeon "Every affliction is timed and measured. Every comfort is sent with a loving thoughtfulness that makes it precious. The Divine Mind exercises great thoughtfulness toward the Lord’s chosen. Nothing happens as the result of a remorseless fate. All your circumstances are ordered in wisdom by a living, thoughtful, and loving God. Our heavenly Father knows what He is doing. Even when His way appears to be involved and complicated and we cannot untangle the threads, the Lord sees all things clearly. His breadth exceeds the range of our vision; His depth baffles our profoundest thought."
God's wisdom & knowledge are deep - His Judgments unsearchable
His ways unfathomable
There must always be about the glorious Lord that is incomprehensible, and it is not for us to doubt because we cannot understand, but rather humbly to bow before His awesome presence in Whose verb hand is our breath.
Father has life in Himself
Son has life in Himself
God does not need anything - we cannot give Him anything that is not already His. To obey is better than sacrifice.
"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven & earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands nor is He served by human hands as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life & breath & all things." Acts 17:24-25
Thus says JEHOVAH "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? Isa 66:1
"Worship should be somewhat like its object --Great praise for a great God. Praise may be said to be great when the song contains great matter, when the hearts producing it are intensely fervent, and when large numbers unite in the grand acclaim. No chorus is too loud, no orchestra too large, no psalm too lofty for the lauding of the Lord of Hosts... Song should be founded upon search; hymns composed without thought are of no worth, and tunes upon which no pains have been spent are beneath the dignity of divine adoration. Yet when we meditate most, and search most studiously we shall still find ourselves surrounded with unknowable wonders, which will baffle all attempts to sing them worthily. The best adoration of the Unsearchable is to own Him to be so, and close the eyes in reverence before the excessive light of His glory. Not all the minds of all the centuries shall suffice to search out the unsearchable riches of God; He is past finding out; and, therefore, His deserved praise is still above and beyond all that we can render to Him. (Spurgeon's note)
God "Who does great & unsearchable things, Wonders without number. Job 5:9
God "Who does great things, unfathomable, & wondrous works without number." Job 9:10
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways & My thoughts than your thoughts. Isa 55:8 55:9 (Spurgeon note)
"It is He who sits above the vault of the earth & its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain & spreads them out like a tent to dwell in." Isa 40:22
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, & Thy thoughts toward us. There is none to compare with Thee. If I would declare & speak of them, they would be too numerous to count. Ps 40:5 (Spurgeon note)
Let all the earth fear Jehovah. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke & it was done. He commanded & it stood fast. Jehovah nullifies the counsel of the nations. He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of Jehovah stands forever; the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Ps 38:8 33:9 10 11
His Purpose Will Be Established & He will accomplish all His good pleasure - what He begins He brings to fruition because He is in total control
"Remember the former things long past, for I am God, & there is no other. I am God & there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning & from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established & I will accomplish all My good pleasure. Calling a bird of prey from the east (Cyrus the king) the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it." Isa 46:9 10 11
Spurgeon: "World events are not tangled, confused, or perplexing to God...Jehovah’s power is apparent, from the least to the greatest, for God is in all and rules all. He guides the grain of dust in the March wind and the planets in their immeasurable pathways. He steers each drop of spray beaten back from the face of the rock. He leads the north star God is the dictator of destinies. He appoints both the ideas and the end. He is the King of kings ruling rulers and guiding counselors. He is the same in the crash of battle or in the hush of peace. He is the same in famine or in the joy of an abundant harvest. He is Lord. He does according to His will, not only in heaven but among the inhabitants of this lower world. The storm may rage, but all is well, for our Captain is the governor of storms. He who trod the waves of the Galilean lake is at the helm, and at His command winds and waves are quiet (Mt 14:27). Courage, dear friend. The Lord, the ever-merciful, has appointed every moment of sorrow and every pang of suffering. If He ordains the number ten, it can never rise to eleven, nor should you desire that it shrink to nine. The Lord’s time is best. The span of your life is measured to a hair’s width. Restless soul, God ordains all, so let the Lord have His way.
Does according to His will in host of heaven & among inhabitants of the earth
"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven & among the inhabitants of earth & no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?' Da 4:35-note
Nebuchadnezzar testifies to God's sovereignty: "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride." Da 4:37-note
His Sovereignty is exemplified by
El Elyon -- God Most High
(See Names of God)
God does not do anything wrong
Spurgeon writes that God's "righteousness is unchanging and endures from age to age. This is the joy and glory of the saints, that what God is he always will be, and his mode of procedure towards the sons of men is immutable: having kept his promise, and dealt out justice among his people, he will do so world without end "
God is just & though He forgives iniquity He does not exempt the guilty
'The LORD is slow to anger & abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity & transgression but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.'
JUSTICE is the foundation of His throne
Righteousness & justice are the foundation of Thy throne; Lovingkindness & truth go before Thee. Ps 89:14 As Spurgeon reminds us "No creature can eventually be unjustly dealt with under his dominion, and his kingdom ruleth over all."
Spurgeon on God's mercy: "This tender attribute sweetens the grand thought of His power: the divine strength will not crush us, but will be used for our good."
Lovingkindness goes before Him
Spurgeon says: Mercy &truth shall go before thy face. They are the harbingers & heralds of the Lord; He calls these to the front to deal with guilty & changeful man. He makes them in the person of the Lord Jesus to be His ambassadors & so poor, guilty man is enabled to endure the presence of his righteous Lord. If mercy had not paved the way, the coming of God to any man must have been swift destruction."
Spurgeon: "The Lord is so full of grace that he has not only mercy but mercies, yea a multitude of them"
Spurgeon comments "See how the attribute of righteousness seems to stand between two guards of love: -- gracious, righteous, merciful. The sword of justice is scabarded in a jewelled sheath of grace."
God's Lovingkindness is very practical - David prays that God would "Wondrously show Thy lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Thy right hand from those who rise up against them." Ps 17:7 Spurgeon asks "What deep depression some of us have had! We have gone to the bottom of the mountains, and the bars of the earth seemed to hold us there...Pray for this experience: “Show Your marvelous lovingkindness” (Ps 17:7). He will do it! He will bring you up, out, and through—not necessarily in the way you would like to come, but in the best way. Always expect the unexpected when you are dealing with God. Look to see in God and from God what you never saw before. When you are dealing with Him who is omnipotent, faithful, and true, the things that seem utterly impossible will be those most likely to happen. God grant you grace, dear friend, to use this meditation and these verses as the means of deliverance from deep trouble.
For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God Who has mercy
Slow to anger Nu 14:18
God is love
Good and upright is the LORD. Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. (Ps 25:8)
Spurgeon: "To us needy creatures the goodness of God is the first attribute which excites praise, and that praise takes the form of gratitude. We praise the Lord truly when we give him thanks for what we have received from his goodness. Let us never be slow to return unto the Lord our praise; to thank him is the least we can do -- let us not neglect it."
Ps 68:10 "Thou didst provide in Thy goodness for the poor, O God." Spurgeon reminds us that "All God’s gifts are prepared in advance and reserved for needs foreseen. He knows our future needs, and out of the fullness of Christ Jesus He provides from His goodness. You may therefore trust Him for all your future needs. He has infallible foreknowledge about every one of them...God has foreknowledge of all that His wandering children require. When those needs arise, the supplies are ready. It is goodness that He has prepared for the poor in heart. Goodness, and goodness only. “My grace is sufficient for you” (2Co 12:9)... Is your heart heavy? God knew it would be. The comfort your heart wants is treasured in the sweet assurance of our text. You are poor and needy, but He knows your need and has the exact blessing you require. Plead this promise, believe it, and you will obtain fulfillment."
Spurgeon: "So great that there has never been an exception. Through the ages, our God has had billions of people to deal with. Yet there does not stand under heaven’s cover, or above the stars, or in hell itself a single soul who can say that God is not absolutely faithful."
God remains faithful
Ps 77:8 Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever?
Spurgeon: "When you are in distress, take a promise and see if it is true. If you have nothing to eat, take this promise: “Bread will be given him, his water will be sure” (Is33:16). When there is nothing in the kitchen, say, “I will see if God will keep this promise.” If He does, do not forget it. Set it down in your diary, or mark it in your Bible. Be like the old saint who put T and P beside the promises. She told her pastor that it meant tried and proven. When she was again in distress, she believed that God would help."
God = jealous God
"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD Thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, Ex 20:5 (cf 3 uses in Deut)
Nahum 1:2 A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging & wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries & He reserves wrath for His enemies." Spurgeon "Believer, your Lord is jealous of your love. Did He choose you? Then He cannot bear that you would choose another. Did He buy you with His own blood? Then He cannot endure that you would think you are your own or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that He would sooner die than you should perish. He cannot endure anything standing between Him and your heart’s love."
"Jealous" does not refer to the shallow human emotion, but speaks of God's intolerance to divided loyalty by those who are in Covenant with Him. What "gods" are you "flirting" with? (cf Js 4:4,4:5 1Jn 2:15, 16 17, Gal 6:7, 6:8)
Although the purpose of this page is give an overview of the Attributes of God, I must apologize because this table is not even "the fringes of His ways and how faint a word we hear of Him!" (Job 26:14) As Horner has written "There can be no condensed learning of God; the very thought is an insult to His transcendent majesty. Rather we have to learn...what it is to slow down and meditate on the truth of His Being, to ruminate over, to ingest and digest the revelations concerning His holy character, to wonder overwhelmingly, to "be still [cease striving] and know that I am God" (Ps 46:10)