What does Psalm 103:13 mean?
ESV: As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
NIV: As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
NASB: Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
CSB: As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
NLT: The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
KJV: Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
NKJV: As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
Verse Commentary:
Ideally, a father shows compassion to his children. "Compassion" is from a Hebrew root that implies action. It's not merely a feeling, but an emotion that inspires action. If one of Dad's children is ill, he feels sympathy for the child, but compassion is reflected in nursing the child back to health. If one of his children is in trouble, Dad hurts for him, and compassion inspires him to extricate the child from danger. Like a good father, our heavenly Father demonstrates strong compassion for us.

God understands what we face, and He cares for us. First Peter 5:7 encourages us to cast all our anxiety on our Father in heaven for that reason. Lamentations 3:22–23 reminds us, "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." In the times of the Judges, the Lord rescued His people from their enemies. He saw their enemies were afflicting and oppressing them to the point that they were groaning. Therefore, He was moved to pity (Judges 2:16–18).
Verse Context:
Psalm 103:6–19 reflects on the Lord's benefits to Israel. Deuteronomy 6:1–15 contains the Lord's promise to bless the people of Israel if they would obey him. Psalm 105 and 106 are companion psalms that stress the Lord's goodness to Israel.
Chapter Summary:
Psalm 103 praises God for what He has done. This includes celebration of His personal influence, as well as the way God has blessed the nation of Israel. David encourages praises from himself, from the people in general, and even from the angels and hosts of heaven.
Chapter Context:
Psalm 103 is one of four psalms which complete the fourth division of the book of Psalms (Psalms 90—106). These four psalms ascribe praise to the Lord. Psalm 103 was written by David and expresses his gratitude to the Lord for all His benefits. First Thessalonians 5:18 conveys the same theme of thanksgiving by exhorting believers to ''give thanks in all circumstances.''
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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