Ps. 103:8-18 contains some of the most-quoted passages about God’s love and forgiveness.
v.8 — The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.
v.9-10 — He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve.
v.11 — For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
v.12 — He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.
Have you ever noticed it is all predicated on his love for those who fear him, are faithful to his covenant, and obey his commands? We won’t experience one apart from the other.
I’m concerned that our churches are filled with people who “have no fear of God in their eyes,” (Romans 3:18) who don’t understand the inseparability of forgiveness and obedience. We preach only love and forgiveness, making obedience seem to be an option we then ought to choose.
This passage, however, says God extends love and forgiveness toward those who fear him, are faithful to his covenant, and obey his commands.