This Week's Focus Passage

Psalm 103:8 ‘Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 103:8

‘Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness.’

    In this psalm of David, the grandness of the lovingkindness of Jehovah is on full display. We find reference to this in no less than four verses of this psalm, which one writer, having written a volume on this one psalm, was led to employ for the title of his book, Gratitude. This surely seems to be one of the chief grounds for the gratitude expressed here by David, The sweet psalmist of Israel. The four verses in which he has pointedly made mention of this marvelous feature of our Father’s love toward His people, are verses four, eight, eleven, and seventeen. The Psalm begins with those excited praises from the heart of this man after God’s own heart, ,to set the stage, as it were, for the reading of the four verses mentioned above:

Bless Jehovah, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy desire with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle.—Psalm 103:1-5.

     Psalm 103:4; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction, Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

    Psalm 103:8; Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness.

    Psalm 103:11; For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his lovingkindness toward them that fear him.

    Psalm 103:17; But the lovingkindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.

    David has told us here, in this 103rd psalm, through the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, that those who belong unto Jehovah God; Jehovah-Jesus, have been, or will be, not only recipients of lovingkindness, but are, or will be, crowned with it; yea, crowned with the lovingkindness of Jehovah; how is that for a crown? That crown overshadows a crown of gold, or even a crown of diamonds; even as the sun itself overshadows the spark of a matchstick. Through the lovingkindness of Jehovah, because of the merits of the blood of His only-begotten Son, shed on the cross, for each one, and every one of His own people, given to Him by His Father, those very elect souls shall be, or have been, and ever shall be, crowned with lovingkindness; and that not only by itself, but also with precious tender mercies.

    As we continue to meander down this wonderfully refreshing pathway constituting Psalm 103, we discover additional blossoms in that path. The Spirit of Jehovah in David, attracts us to yet another blessing; this magnanimous and marvelous lovingkindness with which we have, through God’s grace, been crowned, is presented in abundance. Because Jehovah is merciful, because He is gracious, and because He is slow to anger; this crown is eternally abundant, because He is eternal.

    And how great is that lovingkindness? Can we imagine the extent of the height of heaven above the earth? Perhaps we may imagine something of that infinite distance, but never will we be capable of measuring it. Though we may never learn the distance, we may still, experience it for ourselves; according to Isaiah 57:15;

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is that is of a contrite and humble spirit.

That contrite and humble spirit is also derived through Jehovah’s lovingkindness that is toward them that fear him, according to the eleventh verse of our beloved psalm. And for just how long will this be the case with us? Well, sons and daughters of God, in the seventeenth verse, David has been guided to advise us that the lovingkindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting; and again, this is upon them that fear him. The lovingkindness of Jehovah shall keep His people for ever and ever. From what did this lovingkindness evolve; where did it come from; how did it become ours? The ‘what’ from whence this lovingkindness evolved is the love of Jehovah for His own; the ‘where’ that it has come from, is the love of God; that mysterious love of God that placed His elect in His Son, from before the foundation of the world. And while we know what that love has accomplished; it has accomplished eternal life for the chosen of God, for we read in the gospel of John, chapter three, verse 16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    And who, among all the inhabitants of the earth, will ever believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as their only Savior from sin? Who will come to Him as their only Mediator; the only Mediator between God and men? Sons and daughters of Adam, having fallen in him, were born in sin and conceived in iniquity, disabled themselves; they can do no good (Romans 3:12), There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one. Then how is any man, woman, or child to come to God? And ye will not come to me, that ye may have life, Jesus had to say of His auditory (Jn 5:40).     We ask old Job’s question, in Job 9:2, But how can a man be just with God?

And we believe the answer, at least one wonderful answer, to this apparent enigma, is found in the prophecy of Jeremiah, frequently referred to as ‘the weeping prophet.’ But he is surely not weeping in 31:3, where Jehovah, speaking through this prophetdeclares this amazing truth for each of us, who have been marvelously redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God. Give a child’s ear to this happy truth from Jeremiah.

Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn thee.

The Arminian contends that it would be unlawful for God to command us to do something that we are unable to do; therefore, say they, man must have the ability to believe the gospel when it is presented to him, or her, clearly from the Scriptures. Well, old Saint Augustine, has a response for the Arminian finding himself tangled in this web of intrigue; he simply untangled it with this prayer of his unto his God; “Grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt.” Well, just what must we say to the old ‘Church Father,’ but, Amen, and Amen.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church 


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