What does it mean for God to be full of grace?
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The Hebrew word for “gracious” in Exodus 34:6 is “khanun,” which is related to the Hebrew noun “khen.” This word, “khen,” is often translated as “grace,” but it can also be translated with words like “delight,” “favor,” “charm,” or “beauty.” People with wise, eloquent, or physically beautiful qualities naturally attract khen. Read Proverbs 1:8-9, 22:11, and 31:30 in a few translations. What do you notice about how your Bible translates the word “khen”? Discuss the different ways khen is used in these examples.
Khen can also be used to communicate an act of generous favor. In these cases, the recipients of khen are usually undeserving or perceived as such, so translators use words like “mercy” or “plead” for khen or khanun. With this in mind, read Genesis 42:21, Esther 4:8, and Ruth 2:10 before discussing how khen works in these examples.
Let’s look at more ways khen is used in the Bible. When undeserving people cry out for God to be khanun or gracious (e.g. Psalm 4:1, Psalm 102:12-14), how does God consistently respond (e.g. Psalm 102:17-21, Isaiah 30:18-20)?
God’s consistent response of grace ultimately leads us to Jesus. So let’s turn to the New Testament, where the Greek word “kharis” is often translated as “grace.” Read John 1:14-17 aloud together in your group. How does Jesus fully embody God’s glorious grace?
When extraordinary gifts of grace are given, they cannot be experienced unless they are received. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 as well as 1 Peter 5:4-7. According to these passages, with what attitude do people receive God’s gift of kharis?