FULL OF COMPASSION
But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
In this passage, David is comparing the arrogance and violence of man to the goodness and mercy of our great God. Because of all the disappointments we have all experienced in life because of the corruption in the fallen human race, goodness and mercy can seem almost intangible and somewhat far off. David had tasted his share of mistreatment in life, from the condescension of his brothers, to the violent aggression of Saul. From the betrayal on his staff to the rebellion of his beloved son Absalom, David could easily have become jaded and begun to act on the carnal level that he experienced at every turn. Instead, David turned to the Lord. Drinking from God’s presence, He found the safety that is available, only in the goodness and mercy of our God. Rather than becoming discouraged or lashing out in hostility, David allowed these experiences to drive Him into the arms of God’s love. In the place of shelter that he found in God’s mercy, he was able to be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord. Here are some of Charles Spurgeon’s comments on this verse.
“But thou, O Lord. What a contrast! We get away from the hectoring and blustering of proud but puny men to the glory and goodness of the Lord. We turn from the boisterous foam of chafing waves to the sea of glass mingled with fire, calm and serene. “Art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” A truly glorious doxology, in which there is not one redundant word. Here is compassion for the weak and sorrowing, grace for the undeserving, long-suffering for the provoking, mercy for the guilty, and truth for the tried. God’s love assumes many forms, and is lovely in them all. Into whatsoever state we may be cast, there is a peculiar hue in the light of love which will harmonize with our condition; love is one and yet sevenfold, its white ray contains the chromatic scale. Are we sorrowful? We find the Lord full of compassion. Are we contending with temptation? His grace comes to our aid. Do we err? He is patient with us. Have we sinned? He is plenteous in mercy. Are we resting on his promise? He will fulfill it with abundant truth.”
Maybe you have experienced disappointments in your life. If so, how you respond to these experiences will determine the kind of life you enjoy. You can act carnally with anger or by having a “pity party”, there are always plenty of good reasons (or excuses) to be carnal. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you can turn to the Lord. Gaze into His beauty displayed in his written word, or soar to the heights of His goodness in worship, or you can drink of the depths of His love in times of prayer and reflection. In the times of spiritual meditation , like Spurgeon, you can taste of His incredibly diverse characteristics. In sorrow He becomes our Comforter, in temptation He is our strength and virtue, in confusion He becomes our Shepherd. He is sufficient in all things. Surely He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and overflowing in lovingkindness and truth.