Now Playing: What does it mean to be gracious?
We all like to be treated with kindness and respect. We want to feel special and appreciated. We can be thankful that God cares very deeply about us. The Lord spoke unto Moses and told him to tell Aaron to bless the people, "(v.23) On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, '(v.24) The LORD bless thee and keep thee; (v.25) the LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: (v.26) The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace'" (Numbers 6:23-26). We must be ever grateful at our God, "Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not." (Nehemiah 9:17) "Nevertheless for Thy great mercies' sake Thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for Thou art a gracious and merciful God" (Nehemiah 9:31).
Jonah recognized the character of the Lord when he said, "for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil" (Jonah 4:2). Isaiah said similarly, "Therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him" (Isaiah 30:18).
The Lord's gracious character is also revealed in the New Testament. Of the Lord Jesus it was said of Him, "And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth" (Luke 4:22). The apostle Peter wrote, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the LORD is gracious" (1 Peter 2:3). May there be no doubt about His character with us.
As the psalmist David said in his lament, "(v.7) Will the Lord cast us off for ever? and will He be favorable no more? (v.8) Is His mercy clean gone for ever? doth His promise fail for evermore? (v.9) Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? (v.11) I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (v.12) I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (v.13) Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? (v.14) Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared Thy strength among the people" (Psalm 77:7-14 selected). As He has been gracious to us, may we be gracious to those with whom we work and live.