For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” (Psalm 86:5, ESV)

The psalmist highlights three characteristics of God in this verse:

  1. The Lord is good. God is not only good, but his character defines good.  If we are to understand what good means we need to study God’s character so that we know.  Everything that he does is upright, moral, and just, even when we do not understand his actions.
  2. The Lord is forgiving. The Lexham Theological Wordbook defines “to forgive” as: ”
    Refers to action by an offended party, or by that party’s agent, to remove an offense from consideration.”  When the psalmist says that God is forgiving, it means that He takes action (as the offended party) to remove an offense (our sins) from consideration.
  3. The Lord is abouding in steadfast love (hesed). The Lord has an abundance of hesed–the characteristic of God which describes his covenant love or his faithfulness to his people in the covenant into which he has entered with them.

For thou, Lord, art good, and whither should beggars go but to the door of the good house keeper? —Matthew Henry.

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