Loyal Love
Character of God Word Studies
The Bible describes God's unconditional or loyal love for us using the Hebrew word khesed. Learn about its meaning along with some examples in Scripture.

Questions for Personal Reflection or Group Discussion:

  1. The Hebrew word “khesed” combines the ideas of unconditional love, generosity, and enduring commitment. Read Psalm 136 aloud in your group, with each person using a different translation if possible. How do various translations help you understand the rich meaning of God’s forever enduring khesed?
  2. Read Ruth 1:5-19. How does Ruth show khesed to her mother-in-law? How does this example support your understanding of what it means that God has khesed for us?
  3. Titus 3:4-7 gives us a good picture of God's loyal love at work in our world. In this passage, what does it look like when God’s loving character appears?
  4. God’s loyal love internally motivates Jesus’ followers to generously share what they’ve been given. What do you think it means for God’s love to be inside of a person (see 2 Corinthians 5:14; John 15:9-13; 1 John 4:16)? How does God’s love affect our actions toward those in need (e.g. 1 John 3:16-18)?
  5. Take time to discuss other themes or key takeaways from what you read together.

The Attributes of God

Exodus 34:6-7 is the first description of God’s attributes found in the Bible, and it’s also the most referenced passage in the Bible. Here we learn that all of God’s actions are an expression of these attributes: compassion, grace, patience, loyal love, and faithfulness. This list of God’s character traits has been carefully designed to help us see the meaning and importance of each trait in relation to the others.

God's Core Character

How does God’s mercy relate to his passion for justice? Sometimes God brings severe consequences in response to human evil. But how does God’s mercy and love balance with his anger at destructive human behavior? These are crucial questions that the biblical authors love to explore in narrative, poetry, and in the literary design of this Exodus passage.

The passage tells us that God’s core character traits are rooted in generous mercy and loyal love, which means that God’s anger is not a primary attribute. It’s a divine reaction to selfish and destructive human decisions, and it’s rooted in God’s love. Just like you would get angry if you saw a beautiful work of art being vandalized, so God’s anger is a response to evil done to or by his human images. God would not be good if he didn’t get angry at evil.

God's Judgment

God’s anger and judgment is a really important theme in the Bible, but it’s not the whole story. God’s core character is one of generous love that created the world, and he plans to rescue and restore his creation from human evil. Exodus 34:6-7 invites us into a lifetime of pondering the depths and mysteries of the character of God.

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Exodus 34:6-7 is quoted and adapted by biblical authors more than any other passage in the Bible. In
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