Attributes of God (4)

11 February 2018 PM – Psalm 145:8-9 – Psa145 – Scott Childs

Introduction: The attributes of God are His character qualities that are part of His very nature. They never change.

Transition: In our text this evening, we are going to focus on two more attributes of God: God is gracious and God is good.

1.        The LORD is Gracious (v.8)
(Psalms 145:8) “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

a.         David begins with the LORD is gracious
1)         The word translated “gracious” means just that. It is found 13 times in the Bible. Of those, 11 times it is combined with mercy and compassion.
2)         It is always and only used of God.
3)         TWOT states, “Perhaps the most striking use of this word is the great proclamation of the name of God to Moses on Mount Sinai.” (Exodus 34:5-6) “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”
4)         Webster defined the word “gracious” as favorable; expressing kindness and favor; proceeding from divine grace.
5)         God is always gracious toward us in that He always does that which is kind and undeserved. Even God’s chastening is kind and less than we deserve.
b.         Our gracious LORD is also full of compassion.
1)         The root of this word refers to deep love. It is a deep inward feeling known as compassion, pity or mercy.
2)         He is compassionate to those who suffer. He sees the afflictions and burdens that His children bear and His heart is tender towards us.
3)         We see an example of this when the Israelites were in Egyptian bondage. (Exodus 2:24) “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”
4)         Jesus also had compassion during His earthly ministry. (Matthew 9:36) “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
5)        Because the Lord is compassionate to us. Psalms 55:22 is a blessed promise. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
c.          Our gracious LORD is slow to anger.
1)         Many times we do things that must greatly irritate the Lord. Here are some of the things in our human relationships that irritate and tempt us to get angry: Disobedience, Disrespect, Delay, Selfishness, Unkindness, and Harshness.
2)         When we do these things to God, they must provoke Him toward anger. Yet, one of His gracious attributes is that He is longsuffering.
3)         In the wilderness, when the spies discouraged the nation and they longed to return to Egypt, Moses prayed and reminded God that He was longsuffering. (Numbers 14:18) “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
4)         God is even slow to anger toward those who reject His grace. (2 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.”
d.         Our gracious LORD is also great in mercy.
1)         The word “mercy” refers to goodness, kindness, and faithfulness.
2)         God is good when we don’t deserve it. God is kind when we are unkind to Him. God is faithful to His character at all times.
3)         Though our sin is great, God’s mercy is greater when we repent and confess to Him. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
O  The Bible is full of examples of God’s grace toward men and women who did not deserve it. Grace is part of God’s nature. We can be sure that He will continue to be gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and merciful toward us. We ought to praise Him for that!

2.        The LORD is Good (v.9)
(Psalms 145:9) “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”

a.         The LORD is good to all
1)         The word translated “good” has a number of meaning including, good, pleasant, agreeable, kind, right, and beneficial. It is the opposite of bad.
2)         God is good to all. Every living being owes their origin to God. He created the reproductive process. It is God that gives life to the baby in its mother’s womb.
a)         God is good to us in giving us life.
b)         God is good to us in sustaining our lives.
c)         God is good to us by providing all that we need.
d)         God is good to us in giving us so many blessings.
3)         The phrase “the LORD is good” is repeated a number of times in the Bible. Some examples include:
a)         (Psalms 34:8) “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
b)         (Psalms 100:5) “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
c)         (Psalms 135:3) “Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.”
d)          (Lamentations 3:25) “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.”
e)         (Nahum 1:7) “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
b.         The LORD’s tender mercies are over all His works
1)         The word translated “tender mercies” is a synonym for compassion. It describes the feelings of a godly mother toward the babe in her womb.
2)         God’s tender mercies or compassions are over all His works.
a)         This word translated “works” is found four times in this chapter (v.4, 9, 10, 17). It describes God’s deeds, the things He has done, His acts, His labour, His achievements, and His products.
b)         This would especially include all that He has created. In Nehemiah 9:6 Nehemiah wrote “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”
c)         God hunts for the lions. (Job 38:39) “Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,”
d)         God feeds the ravens. (Job 38:41) “Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.”
e)         Matthew 5:45 states that God “… maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
f)          God clothes the lilies. (Luke 12:27) “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
O  God is good. He has been good to thousands before us. He is good to the creatures He has created. He preserves all that He has created. You can be sure that He will be good to you.

Conclusion: This evening we have focussed our thoughts on God’s graciousness and on His goodness. Has God been gracious and good to you? Absolutely! Even during trials, God is gracious and good. He knows exactly what we need to make us better. Joseph’s trial lasted 13 years, David was hunted by Saul for years, Daniel spent his entire adult life as a eunuch slave in Babylon, Jonah was 3 days in the fish, and Paul’s thorn lasted the rest of his life. God is always gracious and good. Meditate on this. Praise God for this.

Song: Amazing Grace 236 (verses 3-4)