What Is God Like? (2)

In church today, we read Psalm 25, one of my favorites. In it, we see a few facets of God’s many-splendored character.God is personal; he has a name, Yahweh in the Hebrew Old Testament, and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the New. (verse 1) So we can talk to him in a personal way, in prayer, as David does. We can even cry out to him in earnest and heartfelt prayer. (verse 1) He shows us his ways and teaches us his paths. He doesn’t leave us in the dark about what we should do to please him and honor his name, but guides us, step-by-step, into attitudes and actions that resemble, more or less, his own ways of doing things. (verses 4-5) A comprehensive category for God’s ways with us is captured in the phrase, “You are the God of my salvation.” He is the Deliverer, the one who rescues us from sin, and death, and Satan, and everlasting misery in hell. (verse 5) He is filled with tender mercies and lovingkindnesses. David uses the plural of both words here, I think, to emphasize the riches and generosity, even the abundance and, of God’s compassion and mercy towards us. As John wrote later, “God is Love.” (verse 7) God employs selective memory in dealing with his errant children. He chooses to forget our youthful follies and our adult rebellion, because he is good. (verse 7) His goodness and moral rectitude could – and eventually does – issue in wrath upon the unrepentant, but he surprises us by showing contrite sinners how we should amend our lives. (verses 8-9) Indeed, for the sake of his reputation as a God of mercy, he will pardon our iniquity – our abominable wickedness – though it is very great and grievous. (verse 11) Though he hides himself from the arrogant, he reveals himself and his promises to those who fear him. (verse 14) We could go on and on, but these few verses in Psalm 25 give us plenty to think about, and many reasons to delight in, pray to, and adore our great God.