Prodigal Day 10 The Patient Father: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!

Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, The Patient Father!

Psalm 103:8-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

The Questions

1) What do the words merciful and gracious mean?

2) According to these verses, why doesn’t God give us what we deserve?

3) According to these verses, who receives compassion from God?

The Findings for Intention

1) What do the words merciful and gracious mean?
Mercy is withholding punishment from someone who deserves it. So for God to be merciful, He doesn’t give us what we deserve for our sins, as verse 10 states. Grace means unmerited favor. When we speak of God being gracious, it means that He gives us good things that we do not deserve. Practically, mercy removes the death penalty from the murderer. Grace invites the murderer to dinner, pours into them as a person, and delights over who they are.

2) According to these verses, why doesn’t God give us what we deserve?
The word “for” in verse 11 links what follows as a reason for what came before. The reason God is merciful and gracious, not repaying us according to our sins, is because of his great and steadfast love for us. He is patient with us, as His children.

3) According to these verses, who receives compassion from God?
Verse 13 says that God shows compassion to His children, who are the same ones who fear Him. The Bible makes it very clear from the Genesis to Revelation that not everyone will be saved and attain eternal peace with Him. Only those who truly fear God are those who are saved. This group of people is different from those who claim Christianity with their lips only because they recognize God’s power and holiness while seeing that they are sinners in need of mercy from Him. So these verses promising compassion and mercy are for those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation.

The Everyday Application

1) What do the words merciful and gracious mean?
God is a good Father to us. Once we have given our lives to Him, He forgives our sins and doesn’t hold them against us anymore. That’s Mercy! Beyond that, He is gracious, going far beyond forgiveness to adorning us with righteousness, peace, love, freedom, purpose, and hope! He, the offended one, invites us in to life with Him. That’s Grace! Praise you, Father, for Your patience with me! Praise You for dealing with me so compassionately with mercy and grace!

2) According to these verses, why doesn’t God give us what we deserve?
The love of God is far bigger than we could ever imagine. The more we learn about and understand the unfathomable depths of His love, the more our hearts want to conform to His and serve Him. Spend some time today meditating on the following verses about God’s love: Romans 8:37-39, 1 John 4:9-11, Psalm 86:15.

According to these verses, who receives compassion from God?
God offers mercy and grace to all who would receive Him, but the sad reality is that many people have not received this mercy and grace because they have not admitted their own sin, believed sincerely that Jesus Christ died for them, and then confessed Him with their lips and life. Some people have never had the chance to hear about this great love of God toward them, and some people have heard it and rejected it. God wants us to share the love and mercy we have received with others. Who can you tell about God’s compassion, mercy, and grace? And who can you pray for, that their heart would be open to receive it?

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, The Patient Father
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Prodigal Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Prodigal!