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He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:9-10
He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. Psalm 103:9
The Psalmist declared, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) The Lord instructed Jeremiah, “Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever.” (Jeremiah 3:12)
Meditating on the goodness of God, Micah asks, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19)
Spurgeon does a great job explaining Psalm 103:9, saying:
He will not always chide. He will sometimes, for he cannot endure that his people should harbour sin in their hearts, but not for ever will he chasten them; as soon as they turn to him and forsake their evil ways he will end the quarrel. He might find constant cause for striving with us, for we have always something in us which is contrary to his holy mind, but he refrains himself lest our spirits should fail before him. It will be profitable for any one of us who may be at this time out of conscious fellowship with the Lord, to inquire at his hands the reason for his anger, saying, "Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me?" For he is easily entreated of, and soon ceaseth from his wrath. When his children turn from their sins he soon turns from his chidings.
Neither will he keep his anger for ever. He bears no grudges. The Lord would not have his people harbour resentments, and in his own course of action he sets them a grand example. When the Lord has chastened his child he has done with his anger: he is not punishing as a judge, else might his wrath burn on, but he is acting as a father, and, therefore, after a few blows he ends the matter, and presses his beloved one to his bosom as if nothing had happened; or if the offence lies too deep in the offender's nature to be thus overcome, he continues to correct, but he never ceases to love, and he does not suffer his anger with his people to pass into the next world, but receives his erring child into his glory.” Treasury of David by C. H. Spurgeon.As a parent I can relate to my heavenly Father and His heart for us as His children. Just as I want my daughter to always trust and obey me so a wedge of conflict doesn't come between us, creating division, God wants me to always trust and obey Him, so that I don't create strife and drive a wedge of conflict between Him and myself.
When my daughter refuses to obey, as much as I would love peace to remain between us, I know I have to correct her, though doing so means I will be striving with her for the time being.
But once I have corrected her and she turns from her sin, peace between us is restored. Just as I take no joy in those times when I must strive with her, God has no desire to strive with us any longer than is necessary to restore fellowship with us again. And oh, how wonderful it is when my girl turns from her sin, says she's sorry, and jumps into my arms for hugs and kisses. It is then that I can rejoice that our relationship is restored back to perfect fellowship with nothing between us that would cause division. Likewise, God rejoices in our repentance and restored fellowship with Him.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10
I love this verse! This is the grace and mercy of God to us. It reminds me of the parable of the unforgiving servant from Matthew 18—a great story illustrating this truth about God. But before we go there, lets key in on a couple of words found in Psalm 103:10—Sins and iniquities. So what’s the difference?
Sin: Sin is an archery term meaning “to miss the mark”. Having never shot an arrow, what most comes to my mind is the game of darts. I’m trying to hit the target. I throw the dart as best I can to hit the bull’s eye, but miss. That is sin. It is what Paul lamented about in Romans 7, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19) I tell myself I am going to be more disciplined in my eating and exercise habits, but when I splurge on a favorite high calorie food or I allow my workout time to get crowded out by other things I feel guilty. Though God doesn’t hold it against me as sin, I feel guilty because I was aiming for the bull’s eye of eating better and exercising more. So sin is when we try to live as God would have us live, as found throughout the pages of Scripture, but we fall short of the mark.
Iniquity: While sin is very unintentional, I tried to hit the mark, but missed, iniquities are wrongs that are flat out deliberate. Blue Letter Bible defined iniquities as “A depraved or perverse action, a crime, etc.” Such deliberate wrongs are the result of bending, twisting, or distorting God’s Word to justify wicked behavior. It’s when someone says, I know this is wrong, but…and then justifies why their bad behavior is acceptable.
Freely You Have Received
God does not deal with us according to our sins, or punish us according to our iniquities. He is like the king in Matthew 18:23 who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When a particular servant owed to the king more than he could ever repay, that servant begged the king to be patient with him. The king had compassion on the man and forgave his debt completely. Matthew 18:24-27)
Like God, the king did not deal with the servant according to his sins, or punish the servant according to his iniquities. I imagine overjoyed doesn’t begin to describe the joy that servant felt after having his debt wiped clean. Ironically though, despite the amazing gift of forgiveness this servant received, the Bible reports, “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” (Matthew 18:28-30) Shocking!
May we extend to others the same grace and forgiveness that we’ve so joyfully received from our King. (Lamentations 3:22) Freely we have received. May we freely give that grace and mercy to others that God freely gives us. (Matthew 10:8) As a friend at church always answers to "How are you doing?" we can all honestly say because of Psalm 103:9-10, "Better than I deserve."
Question for you: In light of these verses that tell us how God does not deal with us according to our sins and will not keep His anger forever, how does that impact how you might deal with someone that has wronged you, even if they wronged you intentionally?
Just for this week...
Verses to Memorize
Daily Memorization Plan
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 103:7-8) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 103:1-8) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 103:9 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.
4. Read Psalm 103:10 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.
Psalm 103 Memory Challenge Quick LinksFor tips and helps in memorizing your verses this week, check out the previous posts for the Psalm 103 Memory Challenge:
Introduction to Memorizing Psalm 103
Week 1: Psalm 103:1-2 Remembering God’s Faithfulness.
Week 2 (Part 1): Psalm 103:3 There's No god Like Our God!
Week 2 (Part 2) Psalm 103:4 Oh, How He Loves Us!
Week 3 (Part 1) Psalm 103:5 Strength For The Weary
Week 3 (Part 2) Psalm 103:6 God Will Give You Justice!
Week 4 (Part 1) Psalm 103:7 God Makes Himself Known!
Week 4 (Part 2) Psalm 103:8 Mercy in Abundance!
Week 5: Psalm 103:9-10 Better Than I Deserve!
Week 6: Psalm 103:11-12 How High and Wide is God's Mercy For Us!
Week 7: Psalm 103:13-14 God's Loving Compassion For Us!
Week 8: Psalm 103:15-16 Soon and Very Soon, We are Going to See the King!
Week 9: Psalm 103:17-18 God's Mercy is from Everlasting to Everlasting!
Week 10: Psalm 103:19-20 God Rules Over All!
Week 11: Psalm 103:21-22 Bless the Lord!
Week 12: My Plan for Keeping Psalm 103 Hidden In My Heart!
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Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.