Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The Lord performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
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 rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear Him,
And his righteousness to children's children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
'slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness,' or as another translation has it, 'abounding in mercy.'
This morning I was reading in the book of Daniel where Daniel is praying for the congregation of Israel,
'And I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land. Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame...'"
Daniel continues praying and while he was still speaking, Gabriel appeared.
Here is something that struck me about these two chapters in Daniel (9-10)
Gabriel told Daniel, 'At the BEGINNING of your supplications, the command was issued [to come to you]...'
And in chapter 10, Daniel has a vision and a man [the preincarnate Christ] tells him, 'Do not be afraid, Daniel, for FROM THE FIRST DAY that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard...'
'At the beginning...' and 'From the first day...'
How eager is God to forgive!
'God is slow to anger and ABOUNDING IN MERCY.'
Unlike us, He is just. He does not overlook, tolerate, or trivialize sin.
But also unlike us, He doesn't withhold forgiveness when there has been repentance. He doesn't recount our sins to make us feel sufficiently guilty.
When we repent, He rushes to forgive us.