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Summary: There are two categories of God's attributes: His natural attributes, which set him apart from his creation and cannot be emulated, and his moral attributes. Psalm 86 tells us about several of God's moral attributes and how they are a blessing to the beli

What God IS to Us

Psalm 86

Chuck Sligh

May 6, 2012

READ RESPONSIVELY: Psalm 86 – “Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. 3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. 4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. 6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. 8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. 9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. 10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. 11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. 12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. 14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. 17 Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.”


Start with video clip, “Kid’s Views on God.”

Illus. – A friend sent me an email this week of a fifth grade teacher in a Christian school in El Segundo, CA who asked her class to look at TV commercials and see ways to communicate ideas about God. – Here are some of the results:

• God is like COKE…He’s the real thing.

• God is like HALLMARK CARDS…He cares enough to send His best.

• God is like TIDE…He gets the stains out others leave behind.

• God is like GENERAL ELECTRIC…He brings good things to life.

• God is like ALLSTATE…You’re in good hands with Him.

• God is like DIAL SOAP…Aren’t you glad you have Him? Don’t you wish everybody did?

• My favorite is: God is like MAXWELL HOUSE…Good to the last drop.

Well…what IS God like? Last week we looked at Psalm 86 and saw six things David says God DOES for those who know Him as their Savior: He listens to us; He preserves us; He gives us joy; He teaches us; He delivers us from hell and God helps and comforts us.

These are just some of the many things God does for us, but in this same passage, David lists a number of things that God IS that are of great benefit to us. These are some of what the theologians call God’s attributes. God’s attributes are the things revealed to us in His Word about what He is like.

The attributes of God can be grouped into two categories:

• The first are God’s NATURAL attributes.

These are the qualities of God that set Him apart and make Him superior to all other beings and things in the universe. For instance, God is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, and unchanging, to list just a few of the natural attributes of God.

• The second group is God’s MORAL attributes.

These are the qualities of character that determine how God behaves, that determine what kind of personality He possesses. There are many that we could investigate, but we want to limit ourselves to the few that David mentions in this Psalm.

I. FIRST, HE SAYS GOD IS GOOD. – Verse 5 says, “For thou, Lord, art good…”

Though that’s not the first attribute David mentions, I start there because as I studied this psalm, I realized that all the other attributes mentioned flow from God’s goodness. That’s why I said I liked the last commercial about God the kids devised: “God is like MAXWELL HOUSE…Good to the very last drop.”

We’re taught that God is good many places in the Scriptures, but here are just three:

1 Chronicles 16:34 says, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

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