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“As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14.
As a Father Pities His Children
I love the picture Spurgeon paints about God’s compassion for us revealed through the heart of a father. He notes, “Fathers feel for their children, especially when they are in pain, they would like to suffer in their stead, their sighs and groans cut them to the quick: thus sensitive towards us is our heavenly Father. He is at this moment compassionating us, for the word is in the present tense; his pity never fails to flow, and we never cease to need it.—Treasury of David. Isn’t that marvelous to think that God’s compassion for us is in the present tense, ever flowing?
Matthew Henry does an excellent job listing various ways a father pities his children and how God likewise pities us. “God is a Father to those that fear him and owns them for his children, and he is tender of them as a father. The father pities his children that are:
• weak in knowledge and instructs them,
• pities them when they are froward and bears with them,
• pities them when they are sick and comforts them (Isa. 66:13),
• pities them when they have fallen and helps them up again,
• pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them,
• pities them when they are wronged and gives them redress; thus the Lord pities those that fear him.
And the reason God pities us? The answer is in verse 14. I love when the verses I am memorizing that week relate to each other. Psalm 103:13-14 are a great pair! It makes memorizing them so much easier! Whenever I am memorizing a chunk of verses I always look for themes and similarities within the verses that can help serve as clues to me when I am reciting my passage as to what comes next. In this case verse 13 is a statement of God’s compassion on us; pitying us as a father pities his children, while verse 14 answers why God pities us. So let’s take a look at the why.
He Knows Our Frame
Referring to God, Matthew Henry explains, “He knows our frame. He has reason to know our frame, for he framed us; and, having himself made man of the dust, he remembers that he is dust, not only by constitution, but by sentence. Dust thou art. He considers the frailty of our bodies and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, and expects accordingly from us, how little we can bear, and lays accordingly upon us, in all which appears the tenderness of his compassion.”
Spurgeon echoes God’s compassion on our fragility, going on to say, “We too often forget that we are dust, and try our minds and bodies unduly by excessive mental and bodily exertion, we are also too little mindful of the infirmities of others, and impose upon them burdens grievous to be borne; but our heavenly Father never overloads us, and never fails to give us strength equal to our day, because he always takes our frailty into account when he is apportioning to us our lot.” .—Treasury of David.
This week, as we seek to hide Psalm 103:13-14 in our heart, I pray we are blessed as we think upon God’s compassion for us, the heart of the Father, and the awesome promise that God is always mindful of our fragility—that we are dust, being careful to not overload what we can handle for the day. He is so faithful!
Just for this Week...
Verses to Memorize
Daily Memorization Plan
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 103:11-12) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 103:1-12) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 103:13 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.
4. Read Psalm 103:14 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.
Question for you: What ministers to you most when you consider the awesome truths of God’s compassion toward us found in Psalm 103:13-14?
Psalm 103 Memory Challenge Quick LinksFor tips and helps in memorizing your verses this week, check out the previous posts for the Psalm 103 Memory Challenge:
Introduction to Memorizing Psalm 103
Week 1: Psalm 103:1-2 Remembering God’s Faithfulness.
Week 2 (Part 1): Psalm 103:3 There's No god Like Our God!
Week 2 (Part 2) Psalm 103:4 Oh, How He Loves Us!
Week 3 (Part 1) Psalm 103:5 Strength For The Weary
Week 3 (Part 2) Psalm 103:6 God Will Give You Justice!
Week 4 (Part 1) Psalm 103:7 God Makes Himself Known!
Week 4 (Part 2) Psalm 103:8 Mercy in Abundance!
Week 5: Psalm 103:9-10 Better Than I Deserve!
Week 6: Psalm 103:11-12 How High and Wide is God's Mercy For Us!
Week 7: Psalm 103:13-14 God's Loving Compassion For Us!
Week 8: Psalm 103:15-16 Soon and Very Soon, We are Going to See the King!
Week 9: Psalm 103:17-18 God's Mercy is from Everlasting to Everlasting!
Week 10: Psalm 103:19-20 God Rules Over All!
Week 11: Psalm 103:21-22 Bless the Lord!
Week 12: My Plan for Keeping Psalm 103 Hidden In My Heart!
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Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.