Read Psalm 103:1-22
Compassionate…that is certainly an apt description of a good father. He gently and sensitively encourages and helps his children. If you have/had a father, who knows how to appropriately motivate you to aspire to more while lovingly recognizing your weaknesses, you are blessed. It is that compassionate, father/child experience that David uses in Psalm 103:13 to illustrate our relationship with God.
But, let’s back up a few verses first. In verses 1-5, David worships God personally. But the reasons for worship were not unique to him. Beginning in verse 6, he demonstrates how all of us have grounds for exalting the God of heaven. Verses 6-10 point out multiple reasons. Pause for a moment after each one to consider the realities in your life.
- Bless the Lord because of His righteousness and justice shown toward the oppressed (v. 6)
- Bless the Lord because of His miraculous intervention in the lives of the Israelites (v. 7)
- Bless the Lord because of His mercy, grace, and steadfast love (v. 8)
- Bless the Lord because of His short-lived anger (v.9)
- Bless the Lord because of His grace in the face of sin (v. 10)
David further enumerates God’s goodness in verses 11-13 by using three similes. First of all, God’s love for those who fear Him is like the great distance between the heavens and the earth. The recent launch of the SpaceX rocket reminds us of this vast expanse. God’s love is immense!
Secondly, God’s forgiveness is like the separation of east and west. He separates us from our sins the way that east and west are distanced. No matter how far one goes to the east, he could still go further east. Regardless of the distance of one’s travel to the west, she could continue further in that direction. God’s forgiveness is total!
Thirdly, God’s compassion towards those who fear Him is like that of a father. He recognizes the weakness and the temporal nature of our frail existence. In His justice, He demands perfection of us. In His compassion, He understands that we will never attain that. So, in His grace, He made every provision for a relationship with Him. God’s compassion is real!
If you have experienced the compassion of a father on earth, you have had a small taste of your Heavenly Father’s compassion toward you. Even if you haven’t experienced that here on earth, recognize that it is yours in a relationship with Christ.