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Bible Notes: Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
Psalm 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Psalm 103 is a sustained praise of the LORD constructed with the divine attributes of Ex. 34.6, 7 in its vocabulary. It is an interesting composition because the issues of sin, judgment, and forgiveness (set forth in Ex. 34:7 and elaborated in Psalm 103:9-16) are thoroughly influenced by the goodness of the LORD, (listed in Ex. 34:6 and unfolded in Psalm 103:1-8 and 17-22).* Choosing just one of the divine attributes, chesed is translated lovingkindness, but it was first translated into the Greek mercy, eleos. It is the love of God which is steadfast, loyal, unfailing. When the Psalmist finishes his description of how the LORD handles sin in v. 16, he immediately affirms that thelovingkindness of the LORD is eternal. In Ps. 16:11 we find the adjective, chasyd, used for a person who is actively kind, like God is kind, and so the chasyd is godly, pious, righteous, loyal—in short, a saint, or holy one. Through the likeness of the chasyd to the chesed of the LORD comes redemption even from death. This is the kind of love that endures and upholds its duty, binding people to God and to one another.