The LORD Is... (Psalm 103:8-10)
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. ⁹He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. ¹⁰He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. —Psalm 103:8-10
When I see a verse in the Bible that starts “The LORD is...” my attention is riveted on what will come next. We have a longing in our souls to know the Lord more deeply, more completely, ever-increasingly—it is a longing put there by Him and set aflame by the Holy Spirit as we read God’s Word.
Know, then, that “The LORD is...merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” We are sinners made of dust, and you can hear in these words His remembrance of our weaknesses and utter helplessness. We need mercy. We need grace. And our covenant-keeping Lord is there to give it. His anger, though justified, gives way to His lovingkindness that He causes to abound to us. It’s as though His sheltering arms of love are drawing us to Himself where we can hear His heartbeat and know absolute security.
The time of our rejection is over. “He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” Throughout the generations, no one has ever deserved His love. We could never have earned it. His anger is perfectly justified, righteous, and without partiality. Yet, because of the great love with which He has loved us—love so limitless and free, as high as the heavens are above the earth, love most highly demonstrated at Calvary—He slows His anger while His lovingkindness works in us faith in Christ, repentance of sin, and trust in His covenant promises.
God’s love pours into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5). This is the promise for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself (Acts 2:39). Doesn’t it make you want to sing out, Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!
What is the payment our sin demands? (See Romans 6:23; Romans 8:1-4; Colossians 2:13-15.) What is your response to these verses?
What does it mean to be crowned with steadfast love and mercy?
Make a list of God’s attributes found in Psalm 103. Why is it important to know the attributes of God? How does He encourage you in daily life with the knowledge of His attributes?
Betty Dodge is wife to Rick, a mom to adult children, and grandmother to seven. She is a Bible teacher for women and children, as well as a regular contributor to the Fighter Verses Blog. One Betty's greatest joys is seeing God working in believers as they learn His Word and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.