3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
Unrequited love. It denotes a love that is given and not returned. It is a theme repeated over and over again throughout both history and literature. While this experience has prompted many a lover to grow angry and bitter, God is slow to anger and rich in love. The Hebrew word used to describe God's rich love in verse 8 is "hesed". It means a love that is rooted in a covenantal relationship. An important characteristic of a covenant relationship (contrasted with a contractual one) is the fact that even if one party is unfaithful to the covenant, the other party remains faithful. God is rich in this unfailing kind of love. It is the kind of love that moves a person to act for the benefit of another even if it is not reciprocated. The word used for gracious (channun) in verse 8 describes when a greater party "stoops" to a lesser one to show the lesser kindness and generosity. God in his magnanimity loves us so deeply that he is willing to love us even when that love is not returned to him in full measure. Knowing that kind of love teaches us to love God and others in the same way we have been loved.
If God loves me unconditionally, how should I respond when I have failed and strayed from the path he has set before me?
Father forgive us for so easily breaking covenant with you. We thank you that by your grace we have been allowed to enter into a covenant relationship with you even in our brokenness. We find ourselves the greater beneficiary of this covenant. Today, broken as we are, and full of contradictions, we run wholeheartedly into your arms. We do so, not because we are worthy, but because of your "hesed", your covenant love. We run to you because, overjoyed, we have the full expectation that you will receive us back into covenant and set our feet, once again, onto the path from which we have strayed.