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Psalms 103:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The Lord is merciful - See the note on Psalm 86:15.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The Lord is merciful and gracious - See the notes at Psalm 78:38. The idea here is derived evidently from Exodus 34:6-7 - that great and glorious statement of God himself in regard to his own character. Our world is a different world under that statement from what it would be if that and kindred declarations had not been made. There is here a “progression” of thought; an “advance” on the previous statements. At first the psalmist referred to his own individual experience Psalm 103:3-5; then he referred to the dealings of God toward the Hebrew people Psalm 103:6-7; and now he rises to the general contemplation of his character as it relates to all mankind. It was a characteristic of God in respect to all, that he was kind, compassionate, and forbearing.

Slow to anger - That is, patient; not soon excited; bearing much, and bearing it long. See James 5:11; compare Exodus 34:6-7.

And plenteous in mercy - Margin, “great of mercy.” The Hebrew word means “much,” or great;” and the idea is, that mercy is not manifested by him in small or stinted measure. It is rich; full; abundant; overflowing; free.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Truly God is good to all: he is in a special manner good to Israel. He has revealed himself and his grace to them. By his ways we may understand his precepts, the ways he requires us to walk in; and his promises and purposes. He always has been full of compassion. How unlike are those to God, who take every occasion to chide, and never know when to cease! What would become of us, if God should deal so with us? The Scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge, and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them; pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.
Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 252.4

God is full of love and plenteous in mercy; but He will by no means acquit those who neglect the great salvation He has provided. The long-lived antediluvians were swept from the earth because they made void the divine law. God will not again bring from the heavens above and the earth beneath waters as His weapons to use in the destruction of the world; but when next His vengeance shall be poured out against those who despise His authority, they will be destroyed by fire concealed in the bowels of the earth, awakened into intense activity by fires from heaven above. Then from the purified earth shall arise a song of praise: “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:13. “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” And every one who has made the heavenly treasure the first consideration, ... will join in the glad triumphant strain. OHC 252.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 67

*****

It was an important time for ----- during and after the tent meeting in 1874. Had there been a pleasant and commodious house of worship there, more than double the number that were really gained would have taken their stand for the truth. God works with our efforts. We may close the way for sinners by our negligence and selfishness. There should have been great diligence in seeking to save those who were still in error, yet interested in the truth. Just as wise generalship is needed in the service of Christ as is needed over the battalions of an army that protects the life and liberty of the people. It is not everyone who can labor judiciously for the salvation of souls. There is much close thinking to be done. We must not enter into the Lord's work haphazard and expect success. The Lord needs men of mind, men of thought. Jesus calls for co-workers, not blunderers. God wants right-thinking and intelligent men to do the great work necessary to the salvation of souls. 4T 67.1

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 41.2

How grateful we should be that the Lord is slow to anger! What a wonderful thought it is, that Omnipotence puts a restraint upon His mighty power! But because the Lord is forbearing and long-suffering, the human heart often manifests a tendency to venture presumptuously to add sin to sin! ... “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Instead of God's patience hardening the sinner to continual transgression, it should lead him to determine to seek God's forgiveness, in order that the figures standing against his account in the heavenly record may be canceled.... UL 41.2

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 79

In the home of the paralytic there was great rejoicing when he returned to his family, carrying with ease the couch upon which he had been slowly borne from their presence but a short time before. They gathered round with tears of joy, hardly daring to believe their eyes. He stood before them in the full vigor of manhood. Those arms that they had seen lifeless were quick to obey his will. The flesh that had been shrunken and leaden-hued was now fresh and ruddy. He walked with a firm, free step. Joy and hope were written in every lineament of his countenance, and an expression of purity and peace had taken the place of the marks of sin and suffering. Glad thanksgiving went up from that home, and God was glorified through His Son, who had restored hope to the hopeless and strength to the stricken one. This man and his family were ready to lay down their lives for Jesus. No doubt dimmed their faith, no unbelief marred their fealty to Him who had brought light into their darkened home. MH 79.1

“Bless the Lord, O my soul:
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
Who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;...
So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord executeth righteousness
And judgment for all that are oppressed....
He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities....
Like as a father pitieth his children,
So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.
For He knoweth our frame;
He remembereth that we are dust.”
MH 79.2

Psalm 103:1-14. MH 79

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