Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 103:8
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” – Psalm 103:8.
This is a psalm of David where he is praising the Lord for His many mercies. In this particular psalm, David is encouraging himself by using the technique of speaking to himself. He starts by telling himself to bless God for all the blessings God has bestowed on him. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;” Psalm 108:1-2. He then proceeds to list several of these blessings. “Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:3-5.
In the next verse, he speaks of how He has compassion on those oppressed. “The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed.” Psalm 103:6. God is on the side of the oppressed, He has their true interests at heart. The ‘oppressed’ refers to those harmed by unjust judgements, in slavery or wronged by the pride and power of the wicked.
And then we come to our focus verse. “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” Psalm 103:8. These words were originally spoken by God Himself to Moses stating who He is, after Moses chiseled out two more stone tablets to put the ten commandments on. “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” Exodus 34:6-7.
This is a beautiful picture of the God we serve. In looking at our verse of the day, we see the following. First, the Lord is compassionate and gracious. He is a loving God who has shown this compassion to us by providing salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of His only begotten Son. He knows we are not perfect; however, He did not neglect us and leave us on our own but did what was necessary to provide the means by which our sins can be forgiven. And He is slow to anger. David also declared this of God in a prior psalm. “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.” Psalm 86:15. This speaks of one who is not quick to take vengeance but puts up with us patiently.
I want to encourage us all to spend time looking at who our God truly is. That He loves us and did all that was necessary to provide our salvation and eventual eternal life with Him. He will not leave us or forsake us. He is compassionate and gracious toward us. Going forward, “He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:9-12. He has each one of our bests at heart. And because of all this, we should remember how much He cares for us, and is always watching over us. Therefore, as King David declared, we should as well. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.”
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.