But thou, O Lord - What a wonderful character of God is given in this verse! אדני Adonai, the Director, Judge, and Support; - but instead of אדני Adonai, thirty-four of Kennicott's MSS. have יהוה Jehovah, the self-existent and eternal Being; - אל El, the strong God; רחום rachum, tenderly compassionate; חנון channun, the Dispenser of grace or favor; אפים ארך erech appayim, suffering long, not easily provoked; חמד רב rab chesed, abundant in blessings; and אמת emeth, faithful and true. Such is the God who has made himself more particularly known to us in Christ. The scanty language of our ancestors was not adequate to a full rendering of the original words: "And thu driht God gemildsiend, and mildheort, gethyldig and mucel mildheortnysse and sothfaest - And thou, Lord God, art mild, and mildhearted, patient, and of much mildheartedness, and soothfast," - steady in truth.
In the old Psalter the language is but little improved: And thou Lorde God mercier, and mercyful, sufferand, and of mykel mercy, and sothefast.
The word mercier is interpreted, do and dede of mercy.
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion - See the notes at Psalm 86:5. The words rendered “long-suffering” mean that there was and would be delay in his anger; that it was not soon excited; that he did not act from passion or sudden resentment; that he endured the conduct of sinners long without rising up to punish them; that he was not quick to take vengeance, but bore with them patiently. On this account the psalmist, though conscious that he was a sinner, hoped and pleaded that God would save him.
Plenteous in truth - That is, in faithfulness. When thou hast made a promise, thou wilt faithfully keep it.
We need to come still closer to God.... Why is it that our hearts have been so insensible to the love of God? Why have we had so hard a judgment of our heavenly Father? From the light that God has given me, I know that Satan has misrepresented our God in every possible way. He has cast his hellish shadow athwart our pathway, that we might not discern our God as a God of mercy, compassion, and truth. This is why the iron has entered into our souls. FW 60.3Read in context »
He permitted all His goodness to pass before Moses; He proclaimed His character to him as a God full of mercy, long-suffering, and gracious—forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Moses was to represent this character to the people of Israel, and we are to do the same. FW 61.3Read in context »
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 252.4Read in context »
In Isaiah's day the spiritual understanding of mankind was dark through misapprehension of God. Long had Satan sought to lead men to look upon their Creator as the author of sin and suffering and death. Those whom he had thus deceived, imagined that God was hard and exacting. They regarded Him as watching to denounce and condemn, unwilling to receive the sinner so long as there was a legal excuse for not helping him. The law of love by which heaven is ruled had been misrepresented by the archdeceiver as a restriction upon men's happiness, a burdensome yoke from which they should be glad to escape. He declared that its precepts could not be obeyed and that the penalties of transgression were bestowed arbitrarily. PK 311.1
In losing sight of the true character of Jehovah, the Israelites were without excuse. Often had God revealed Himself to them as one “full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15. “When Israel was a child,” He testified, “then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt.” Hosea 11:1. PK 311.2Read in context »