12 Jehovah’s goodness passed before Moses’ face the next day on Mount Sinai. At that time, Moses got a glimpse of God’s glory and heard this declaration: “Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth,
These words indicate that Jehovah’s goodness is related to his loving-kindness and other aspects of his personality. Considering these will help us to display goodness. Let us first consider the quality mentioned twice in this marvelous declaration of God’s goodness.
“A God . . . Abundant in Loving-Kindness”
13. In the declaration of God’s goodness, what quality is mentioned twice, and why is this fitting?
13 “Jehovah [is] a God . . . abundant in loving-kindness
The Hebrew word translated “loving-kindness” also means “loyal love.” It is the only quality listed twice in God’s declaration to Moses. How fitting, since Jehovah’s dominant quality is love! (1 John 4:8) The well-known expression of praise to Jehovah “for he is good, for his loving-kindness is to time indefinite” highlights this quality.
14. Who especially enjoy God’s goodness and loving-kindness?
14 One manifestation of Jehovah’s goodness is that he is “abundant in loving-kindness.” This is especially evident in the tender care that he gives his dedicated, faithful human servants. (1 Peter 5:6, 7) As Witnesses of Jehovah can testify, he is ‘preserving loving-kindness’ toward those who love and serve him. (Exodus 20:6) The nation of natural Israel ceased to experience Jehovah’s loving-kindness, or loyal love, because they rejected his Son. But God’s goodness and loyal love toward faithful Christians of all nations will last forever.—John 3:36.
Jehovah—Merciful and Gracious
15. (a) The declaration heard by Moses on Mount Sinai opened with what expression? (b) What does mercy involve?
15 The declaration that Moses heard on Mount Sinai opened with the expression: “Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious.” The Hebrew word translated “mercy” may refer to “bowels” and is closely related to the term for “womb.” Mercy therefore involves feelings of tender compassion that are deep inside a person. But mercy includes more than genuine pity. It should motivate us to do something to relieve the suffering of others. For instance, loving Christian elders see the need to be merciful toward fellow believers, ‘showing mercy with cheerfulness’ when this is appropriate.—Romans 12:8; James 2:13; Jude 22, 23.
16. Why can it be said that Jehovah is gracious?
16 God’s goodness is also manifested in his graciousness. A gracious person is “markedly considerate of another’s feelings” and displays an ‘endearing kindliness especially to inferiors.’ Jehovah is the finest example of graciousness in dealing with his faithful servants. By means of angels, for instance, God graciously strengthened the aged prophet Daniel and informed the virgin girl Mary of the privilege she was to have of giving birth to Jesus. (Daniel 10:19; Luke 1:26-38) As Jehovah’s people, we surely appreciate his gracious way of appealing to us through the pages of the Bible. We praise him for this manifestation of his goodness and seek to be gracious in our dealings with others. When those having spiritual qualifications readjust a fellow believer “in a spirit of mildness,” they try to be gentle, gracious.—Galatians 6:1.
A God Slow to Anger
17. Why are we grateful that Jehovah is “slow to anger”?
17 “A God . . . slow to anger.” Those words call attention to yet another manifestation of Jehovah’s goodness. Jehovah patiently puts up with our failings and gives us time to overcome serious weaknesses and make spiritual advancement. (Hebrews 5:12–6:3; James 5:14, 15) God’s patience also benefits those who have not yet become his worshipers. They still have time to respond to the Kingdom message and repent. (Romans 2:4) Although Jehovah is patient, however, his goodness sometimes moves him to express his anger, as he did when the Israelites worshiped the golden calf at Mount Sinai. God’s anger will soon be expressed in an even greater way when he brings an end to Satan’s wicked system.—Ezekiel 38:19, 21-23.
18. With regard to truth, what contrast is there between Jehovah and human leaders?
18 “Jehovah [is] a God . . . abundant in . . . truth.” How Jehovah differs from human leaders, who make big promises and then fail to live up to them! By contrast, Jehovah’s worshipers can rely on everything said in his inspired Word. Since God is abundant in truth, we can always trust in his promises. In his goodness, our heavenly Father unfailingly answers our prayers for spiritual truth by providing it in abundance.—Psalm 43:3; 65:2.