Summary: How would you define the God you serve? Here our Psalmist tells us a few things about our Great God.
Introduction: When you think about the Lord and Who He is, you can define Him in so many ways-good, great, gracious, merciful, loving, longsuffering, self-sacrificing, giving, all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever present; just to name a few.
Here David gives us a Psalm of praise unto God for His greatness toward all mankind.
Let us examine this Psalm and see at least four things that define God in such a way, that it is no wonder that David praises Him and gives Him glory.
What can we find out about the Lord? What are the four things that David exposes about the Lord's character?
1. The Lord is Gracious (vs. 8).
A. Being gracious is a part of God's character and makeup. Within the doctrine of grace, we find that God shows unmerited favor upon all His creation. That is, God does not show favor to only a select few people, but God's grace extends to everyone.
B. In John 3:16, Jesus explains God's concern for all by saying it this way, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Paul will use the same term 'whosoever' in Romans 10:11-13, he wrote it this way, "For the scriptures saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." As one can easily see, God's grace is extended to everyone or the whosoevers.
C. God loved the world, now whosoever believes in His Son has everlasting life. Whosoever therefore believes in Jesus is not ashamed, and whosoever calls upon the name of Jesus shall be saved. Whosoever means you and me. Anyone can place their name in context with God's grace.
2. The Lord is Full of Compassion (vs. 8).
A. Another way of saying this, is to say that God is longsuffering. Unlike you and me who sometimes have to really work hard to get along with others, the Lord again is willing to accept whosoever will come unto Him.
B. Peter wrote in II Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." God as you can see is patient. We sometimes say that we do not understand how God can let this world continue as it is going. Truly God has a time and when the time is correct, believe me, God will intervene, but unlike us, God's compassion, God's longsuffering, and God's patience is much greater than ours.
C. Although, we find it difficult to understand God's methods or ways, we need to accept that God knows exactly what He is doing. We cannot fully explain what He is thinking or how He feels about things, but we can remember what God Himself said through the writing of Isaiah. In Isaiah 55:8-9, God said, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
D. Further, Paul also recorded God's message to Moses concerning His compassion. In Romans 9:15-16, Paul recorded, "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God, that sheweth mercy" To sum it all up, God knows what He is doing, and God will do what befits His character. We just need to praise and glorify Him.
3. The Lord is Slow to Anger (vs. 8).
A. How many of you understand that anger is a human emotion that interferes with your service to God? How many of you need to understand that when you are angry, you can make bad choices, decisions, and your actions can hurt your testimonies before God and man?
B. Paul told the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:30-32, that anger grieves the Holy Spirit. Therefore, rather than being a vessel that God can use, you become a person so hard hearted that God cannot use you.
C. How many of you recognize that anger is a barrier to love? Especially the demonstration of God's love that should be present in the heart of all believers. Remember in Jonah 4, after Nineveh repented, Jonah was angry, Jonah pouted, and Jonah showed no burden for those people. God had to share with His servant that He made man and beast, it was therefore within His authority to preserve them and their beasts.