The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. From everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him. (Psalm 103:8, 10–14, 17, NIV 1984).
When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36, NIV 1984).
My Musings – These verses are loaded!
Compassionate – A sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14, NIV 1984). It was more than a desire to alleviate our sinful state that compelled the Father to allow His Son to bear our sin and shame on the cross.
Gracious – Unmerited divine favor given to mankind for their salvation. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9, NIV 1984). Unmerited, not earned. Not something you can work for. It is a gift, freely given, freely received, if we are willing to accept it.
Slow to Anger – Lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness to display His displeasure and judgement. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9, NIV 1984). When He returns, those who have not repented, who have not accepted Christ will be judged and bear the full weight of His wrath. But because He is reluctant for this to be the case for anyone, He delays to allow the unsaved more time to consider.
Abounding in Love – Abundantly supplied goodness and kindness. A steadfast (not subject to change) love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16–17, NIV 1984). It cannot be more abundant than for Him to send His only Son. It cannot be more steadfast, that when we betray Him in sin, He still loves us enough to redeem us.
As High As the Heavens Are From the Earth – How high do you suppose that could possibly be? Scientists estimate at least 93 billion light years (and still expanding).
As Far As the East Is From the West – No matter how far east (or west) you travel, you will never reach the west (or east).
From Everlasting to Everlasting – Enduring through all time. No matter how far back in time you go, there was never a time He did not love us. No matter how far into the future you go, there will never be a time when He stops loving us.
My Advice – How could you possibly turn away from such love? Why would you want to?
Want to become a Christian? See my blog series “The Born Again Experience.”
Want a closer walk with Christ? See my blog series “Got Spiritual Milk?”