June 19, 2020 – Friday
Psalm 103:13 NIV
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him
Psalm 103:13 YLT
13 As a father hath mercy on sons, Jehovah hath mercy on those fearing Him.
Sunday is Father’s Day, a day to celebrate Fathers. With that in mind I chose the verses above for today’s Verse/s of the Day. Take some time to consider the verse above comparing a father to God. Many versions do not have the word compassion or mercy, but pity or pities.
For some reason compassion and mercy seemed much more fitting to me. Wanting to confirm my thoughts on this, I went to BlueLetterBible.org where I could look up the Hebrew word online, read the Outline of Biblical Usage, and read Strong’s definition of the same. Here is what I found there.
Outline of Biblical Usage: to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion
Strong’s Definition (edited): by implication, to love, especially to compassionate:—have compassion, love, mercy, pity
Thus even if we use a version that show the father having pity on his children and God having pity or pitying those who fear Him, the Bible is replete with God’s compassion. God clearly shows paternal feelings over and over, again and again throughout scripture.
However, the key to His pity and compassion is to be one of those who fear, revere, honor, and worship Him. Here, in this Psalm, David is addressing the nation of Israel, but we would do well to remember Genesis 18:18 where we read Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. And we have been so blessed by His Son, Jesus of Nazareth whereupon we are grafted into all those blessings. Paul said it this way in Romans 11:17b you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.
When I was a young man, I can see clearly now – at the ripe age of 72 – the compassion my earthly father had on me. Just as clearly I can see the compassion my heavenly had and has on me. I could share with you my many, a great many, shortcomings I had as an older son before leaving home. Then even more shortcomings as a man who in great ignorance and arrogance did not fear God for the longest time. The pity, compassion, and mercy shown by both sometimes overwhelms me. I was and I am blessed.
It is my hope and prayer all of you have a wonderful Father’s Day, especially in celebrating the love and compassion of our Heavenly Father.