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The Character of God Psalm 103:6-14

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God's character results in God's forgiveness to those who fear Him.

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Introduction

The theme of is worship. It begins with David giving himself a commandment to “Bless the Lord, O my soul”. To bless the Lord means to be worshiping and praising Him. He has previously shown in verses 1-5 the many benefits of belonging to the Lord. In the next verses, he describes the character of God. Look at how he talks about God:
6 The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 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. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 or He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
6 The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 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. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 or He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 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. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
7 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 8 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
6 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 7 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 8 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 9 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 10 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 11 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 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. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 or He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
God’s character results in God’s forgiveness. What is the character of God that results in God’s forgiveness of our sins?
9 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 10 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 11 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

God’s Justice

In verses 6-7 cross. One HUGE difference, though: your crimes (“iniquities”) have been multiplied over and over. But they are all pardoned. They are forgiven, never to be used against you. What a benefit of being a child of God!

God’s Compassion

Compassion is a word that describes how God feels and acts towards people who are needy. That would be us. Even though we have frequently rebelled and sinned against Him, he does not come down and give us what we deserve: judgment. No, He is described as compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. Those words are found frequently in the Old Testament.

God’s Patience

We also see in these verses the patience of God. Just as the nation of Israel sinned against God repeatedly while in the wilderness, so do we find many ways to violate His commands. But He chooses to overlook those sins and gives us the opportunity to repent (or turn away from those sins instead of condemning us immediately.

The Fear of God

The Fear of God

God’s Lovingkindness

Lovingkindness is a word that tells us that His compassion and compassion are not temporary, but rather steadfast. Those who fear Him will never lack in God’s loving mercy. A good description of this word is that God has loyal love for His people. He will never fail to show His love for His children.

God’s Forgiveness

These wonderful character traits of God result in the wonderful picture given of forgiveness of our sins in verses 11-12. They are removed! They are far away from us, never to be used against us for judgment.

Conclusion

This forgiveness of sins that is available has a condition attached to it: fear. Twice we are told that it is “those who fear Him” who will have the experience of God’s compassion and lovingkindness resulting in His forgiveness. What does it look like to fear God? On the one hand, it means that we should be afraid of a holy God who will punish sin; on the other hand, if we are His children we should have a healthy respect and a sense of awe before Him. If you don’t want to be afraid of God, then you want to be His child. That happens when you turn from your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ as your one and only Savior.
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