What Does Psalm 103:8 Mean?

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love.

Psalm 103:8(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

The eternal and interlinked attributes and essence of the Lord started to be unfolded to humanity at the start of Scripture, and all His beautiful characteristics are intertwined with each other and interlaced together. It seems likely that they will continue to be revealed to us as our understanding of Him keeps growing throughout the eternal ages to come. From the start to the end of Scripture, the Lord shows Himself to be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness.

To those like King David, who love the Lord with all their heart and turn their face towards Him, His glorious person becomes ever more real with each additional glimpse of His beauty, as He unveils more and more of His character. The more we come to know the Lord, the more He develops in each of us a deepening desire to know Him more and to love Him better, for He has proved Himself to be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.

David, the psalmist of Israel who penned these beautiful words, faced tremendous hardship and deep troubles, but the testimony of his life was that He looked back and recounted the compassion and grace that the Lord expressed towards His people, and he looked forward to the coming prophesied Redeemer Who was to personify the over-abounding loving-kindness and tender mercies to all His people. He also lay on his bed and meditated on the gracious acts of God and His tenderness towards all children of men.

The Lord intimately knows how we were formed and how fragile our lives are: "For He Himself knows our form; He is mindful that we are nothing but dust." He also understands the brevity of our lives: "As for man, his days are like grass; like a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place no longer knows about it." The Lord knows us and He loves us. He is always there to lavish upon us such compassion and mercy, such love and grace. Let us meditate on the gracious acts of God in our lives, His tenderness to us in times of specific hardship, and His loving-kindness to us, that is ever present.

When difficulties arise in our lives and we are beset on every side with hardships and trials, we need to adopt the attitude of David in His many psalms of praise and thanksgiving – who reflected on God's past goodness, rejoiced in His future promises, and blessed the Lord for all the benefits that He bestows on us day by day: "For the Lord is compassion and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness." 

My Prayer

Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless Your holy name, for you have pardoned and healed me, forgiven and redeemed me, and crowned me with loving-kindness and great compassion. For all that I have, and am, and ever hope to be, rests only on the merit of the Lord Jesus Who gave His life for me that I might live my life in Him. In His name I pray, AMEN.

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Psalm 103:8 Further Study

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