Verse 15. But thou, O Lord. What a contrast! We get away from the hectorings and blusterings of proud but puny men to the glory and goodness of the Lord. We turn from the boisterous foam of chafing waves to the sea of glass mingled with fire, calm and serene. "Art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." A truly glorious doxology, in which there is not one redundant word. As we have before observed, it is mainly transcribed from Exodus 34:6 . Here is compassion for the weak and sorrowing, grace for the undeserving, longsuffering for the provoking, mercy for the guilty, and truth for the tried. God's love assumes many forms, and is lovely in them all. Into whatsoever state we may be cast, there is a peculiar hue in the light of love which will harmonize with our condition; love is one and yet sevenfold, its white ray contains the chromatic scale. Are we sorrowful? We find the Lord full of compassion. Are we contending with temptation? His grace comes to our aid. Do we err? He is patient with us. Have we sinned? He is plenteous in mercy. Are we resting on his promise? He will fulfil it with abundant truth.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 15. Thou, O Lord, Adonai, art a God; El, the strong God, full of compassion; the same words as Moses useth. Instead of Jehovah, Adonai is used, "O Lord"; but then El, strong God, is the same word.
The meaning is, let all the strength and power thou the strong God hast in thee be for my advantage. Now, is it not a bold request to say, Lord, wilt thou give me all thy strength to help me? A very bold request indeed; but his mercy moves him to grant it. Thus then petition him: Thou art a God merciful and gracious, give thy strength to me! Thou, O God, givest all thy attributes up to thy children, to serve their advantage, as well as to serve thy own glory; give me thy strength! --Thomas Goodwin.
Verse 15. Full of compassion. The original word Rachum is very emphatical; it signifies such tenderness as parents have toward their children when their bowels yearn within them. --"Critical and Practical Exposition of the Pentateuch." 1748.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 15. -- The shades of the light of love. Compassion upon suffering, grace towards unworthiness, long suffering to provocation, mercy towards sin, truth towards the promise.