DAVID THE COMPASSIONATE
2 SAMUEL 9
David lived in a world where compassion and kindness was in short supply. Learning to survive and look after number 1 occupied the minds of most people; stragglers got left behind in the race of life. But David was so aware of God’s goodness and compassion that he reflected it in his own life.
Do you think there is much compassion about in our age?
What can we be doing to reflect God’s compassion today?
vv 7-10. He (God) revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
Have you ever been asked ‘What’s God like?’ only to find yourself stumped for a reply?
Moses was called by God to go up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He was told to go alone; nobody else was allowed to accompany him on this epic encounter. So I can easily imagine the Israelites asking him when he returned ‘So what’s God like then?’ They would perhaps have wanted some kind of physical description – you know, long grey beard, bright shiny face, hugely strong, etc. etc. But you can’t describe God in that way; it was God who described himself to Moses. (We’ll read about that on Thursday) And here, in Exodus 34, is God’s favourite way of describing himself in a phrase often repeated in the Bible:
“Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
David, the writer of Psalm 103, expands on this in a worship song for others to learn. Right at the heart of this description of God we find compassion and mercy. Not a bad answer to give people as they ask about God.