READ Psalm 103:6–12. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
SLOW ANGER; IMMEASURABLE LOVE. God’s anger is different from ours. We are quick to anger, we make people pay who have wronged us, and then, nonetheless, we nurse our grievances. God is slow to anger, provides for our forgiveness, and then remembers our sins no more. Verse 8 is astonishing because it quotes Exodus 34:6, which goes on to say in 34:7 that God “does not leave the guilty unpunished.” How can Moses in Exodus be right to say that God will not let sin go unpunished and David here also be right in saying he will not punish us as we deserve? Only the cross would reveal what it cost God to punish sin without punishing us. Infinite distances (verses 11–12) are used to convey this infinite love. Prayer: Lord, my anger is indeed unlike yours. May your Spirit purify me so my anger is not triggered by my hurt ego as much as by real injustice and evil, and so that it does not remain in me to harden and poison my joy but readily gives way to compassion. Amen.