The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
In part 1, I spent some time meditating on the wonderful truths of God’s character. In this blog post, I want to consider some personal applications as we grow in understanding these verses.
Earlier in this Psalm in verses 1-2, David arrives at some of the implications for these truths:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits.”
As I understand God’s character and goodness, I should respond in great worship and praise to the Lord. I am instructed to bless His name with ALL that is within me and to actively remember and meditate on His character and blessings. Knowing God more should result in deep, genuine worship for who He is, and overflowing thanksgiving for what He has done. As Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Another implication from this passage comes from knowing we are called to bear God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 8:29). As His creatures and children, we are designed to reflect Him. He lovingkindess towards me is to compel me in my relationships (2 Corinthians 5: 14). Ephesians 5:1 commands us, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Psalm 103:8-10 teaches us some of the ways God treats us as His dearly beloved children. Ephesians 5:1 commands us to remember we are His beloved children, and to then imitate Him. Since He is compassionate and gracious to me, I should reflect kindness and mercy to others. He is slow to anger with me, teaching me I am to imitate Him by being patient and forbearing with others. He does not treat me as my sins deserve, so I should demonstrate graciousness and a forgiving spirit to those who sin against me. As I live out the love and the grace God has poured into my heart, I honor and glorify Him and point others towards knowing Him more (Matthew 5:16)
As we study God for who He is and how He responds to us, we should rejoice, worship, and give thanks to Him while taking steps in imitating His great love for us.