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Reading:                                       Psalm 103                                                                  

 (Verses 7-12)

He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The L
ORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
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
(NIV).

Reflection

Here is a little secret that will be a secret no longer: Of all the psalms, Psalm 103 is my favorite.

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Misty morning at the Arboretum, Ottawa, ON, — photo by David Kitz

Why do I have such a deep love for this psalm? The answer lies in what the psalm tells us about God. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

That sentence should be etched on our hearts and minds. The character of God is revealed in these traits. I stand in need of a God who has these qualities because by nature I am the polar opposite. In various situations I have lacked compassion. I have reasoned that those who suffer are getting what they deserve. Rather than extent grace, I have a tendency to be judgmental. When things don’t go my way, I can be quick tempered rather than slow to anger. I like to think I am loving, but I’m not sure others would always agree.

The amazing truth is that despite all our shortcomings God still loves you and me. He [the LORD] will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

Satan is the accuser; God is the merciful forgiver. Sometimes I think in our minds we have reversed those roles. That’s why this psalm acts as such a powerful antidote to wrong thinking. Do you think God cannot forgive you because of some past transgression? Think again. Psalm 103 tells us to view God differently. He is more compassionate than we can imagine, more loving than we can fathom, more patient than we can comprehend.

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.

Infinite—our God’s love and compassion are infinite. Enough said.

Response: Father God, because of your love, mercy and grace I want to serve you. Please accept my feeble attempts at loving you back. Your forgiveness leaves me with a debt of love I cannot pay. Amen.

Your Turn: What is your favorite psalm? Why?