But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love [hesed] and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15, ESV)

David is off the charts here in describing the character and conduct of God.  God is:

  1. Merciful – “The original word Rachum is very emphatical; it signifies such tenderness as parents have toward their children when their bowels yearn within them.”—“Critical and Practical Exposition of the Pentateuch.” 1748.
  2. Gracious – “The adjective ḥannûn is used to describe one who is gracious and exercises grace; it is applied only to God, who is regularly described as “gracious (ḥannûn) and compassionate (רַחוּם, raḥûm)” [Lexham Theological Workbook (LTW)]
  3. Slow to anger – “אַף (ʾap). n. masc. anger, nose. Refers literally to the nose as a physical facial feature but more commonly designates anger, either divine or human.” [LTW]
  4. Abounding in hesed – חֶסֶד (ḥesed). n. masc. steadfast love, kindness, faithfulness, loyalty. The core idea of this term relates to loyalty within a relationship. In relation to the concept of love, it denotes God’s faithfulness to his people.
  5. Abounding in faithfulness – אֱמֶת (ʾĕmeṯ). n. fem. truth, dependability, faithfulness. Denotes constancy, permanence, stability, and dependability, signifying the condition of being secure, stable, or dependable. [LTW]

Think about this for awhile, dear reader, and be amazed.

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