8 The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.
David is laying out just some of the characteristics of God. The more you get to know God and the closer you walk with Him, you realize that this list grows. The characteristics of God are kind of like a diamond in the sense that just like when you turn and twist a diamond, you see something different. The more we experience God, we get to see Him in a different way, expanding our view of Him.
David first says God is gracious and merciful. The easy to remember the difference between mercy and grace is that mercy is deserved favor and grace is undeserved favor. God in His generosity gives both to us. We are saved by His grace. That means we do not deserve to be saved. We do nothing to earn salvation. It is an undeserved gift of Almighty God, based all on what Jesus has done for us.
Next, he says that God is slow to anger. God is patient with us. This is evident when He does not immediately punish us when we disobey. God allows us a chance to repent and turn from doing wrong before He punishes us.
Great is the lovingkindess of God and He is good to all. These fit in with the ones we talked about before. God is gracious and merciful and slow to anger because of His lovingkindness for us. In 1 John 4:16, John says it simply, “God is love”. We could easily say God is gracious because He is love. God is merciful because He is love. God is slow to anger because He is love. The face that God is love, is a key to knowing who God is. It helps the Bible make more sense when you view it through the lens that God is love. God made the World, because of His love. God made a way to be forgiven because He is love. That is an important aspect of who God is.
Dear God, I thank you for all of these characteristics. I thank you for Your grace and mercy. I thank you that You are slow to anger. I thank you for Your lovingkindness and that You are good to all. I thank you for Your love. You are so, so great, Lord. Help me to learn Your characteristics so I can be more like You and I can teach them to my kids. I need so much help in all of these. Help me Lord, I pray. Amen.