“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him” (Psalm 103:13).
A godly father and his children are often compared in Scripture to our heavenly Father and those who have become His spiritual children through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Such a father loves his children, of course, and provides for them, but the heavenly Father provides much more. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
A good father also disciplines his children when it is needed, and so does our Father in heaven. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, . . . If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:6,7). Then, when the chastening is over, and the son or daughter has learned and profited thereby, the Father is ready quickly to forgive, and fellowship is restored, as in the familiar parable of the prodigal son. “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
In today’s text, the Hebrew word for “pitieth” is the same as “has compassion on.” “For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust,” the next verse (v.14) assures us. The same word is used in the beautiful verse in Lamentations 3:22,23. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Further, “though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies” (Lamentations 3:32).
As we give due honor today to our earthly fathers, let us also give great thanks to the loving heavenly Father whom they represent to their sons and daughters. HMM