Loving kindness and Compassion

In Psalms 103-108 there is a recurring words that need to be dealt with more than having a cursory reading. Loving Kindness and Compassion show up in these Psalms no less than a dozen times. Obviously if something is being repeated, it behooves us to find out why. Loving kindness is not the same as longsuffering which relates to the mercy of God. Loving kindness carries with it the definition of loyalty, faithfulness, goodness, graciousness and godly action. In Psalm 105 and 106 the Psalmist writes about the history of Israel and Yahweh’s faithful working in protecting and sustaining them even though they were rebellious at every opportunity. The steadfast love of God is the singularly most important attribute of Jehovah – God has an unconditional love for us. Romans 5:8 tells us that “while we were yet sinners God demonstrated His love for us, Christ died for the ungodly.” There was no attribute of Israel that merited God’s benevolent and gracious love to them. Israel was/is a people who have God as their origin.

Nu 14:18. The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations. New American Standard Bible, 1995 Edition: Paragraph Version (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995),

The second word compassionate means the Quality of showing kindness or favor, of being gracious, or of having pity or mercy. In the Bible, God is described as being like a compassionate father to those who revere him (Ps 103:13). Jesus Christ exemplified God’s compassion in his preaching and healing (Mt 9:36; 14:14), in his concern for the lostness of humanity (Lk 19:41), and finally in his sacrifice on the cross (Rom 5:8). The church is to demonstrate compassion as one facet of the love Jesus commanded (Mt 5:4–7; Jn 13:34; Jas 2:8–18; 1 Jn 3:18). In scriptural usage compassion is always both a feeling and the appropriate action based on that feeling. [Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 306.]

The significance of these two words in the life of Israel; expresses God’s unchangeable love for His creation – specifically mankind. Even though there were times that He wanted to destroy Israel and start over [Ex. 32-34]; He continued to be longsuffering and merciful to fallen mankind. When I think of how much rebellion we do against the Father, I wonder why does He even bothers?

When judgement day comes, I know that every mouth will be shut, those that believe and are amazed at the grace and mercy of God, and those who failed to place their faith in God, will be overwhelmed because they knew better and refused to believe. God has done all things necessary for our salvation and godliness. Man has but to believe in the redemptive work of Jesus at Calvary, not just so we can go to heaven someday, but have joy unbounded and abundance of peace that passes all understanding. No one deserves the love of God; He lavishes it on us out of His character and attributes as God sovereign.

I often wondered why God created; some say He was lonely – but Andrew Murray states that God created so He could display His unconditional love. He created so He could see His son Jesus and display His mighty works through Him. Jesus is our redeemer, He reconciles us back to the Father which in turn through the Holy Spirit conduit shows for His mighty power to love unconditionally, supremely, compassionately and mercifully.  As Jesus said, “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father; I and the Father are one.” Knowing Jesus is knowing God the Father. Scripture tells us that he has not dealt with according to our sins. Psalm 103:10!  No wonder the Psalmist continually says “Praise the Lord o My soul!” Mercy Me sings a song formed out of Psalm 108:1-5 – How Great is Your Love Higher than the heavens above – steadfast love.

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Filed under 2018 Poetry

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