God's Loyal Affection
As we look at Psalm 103:8, we have a list of wonderful characteristics. We have been looking at the leading characteristics of God the Father's personality. The last one in the verse tells us that He is full of loyal affection. The Hebrew word HESED emphasizes two different things: the first is that He is loyal. As each member of the Trinity is loyal to one another, so the Father is loyal to His own—to us. Secondly behind that loyalty is affection: He enjoys His children. This is so wonderful to realize. We are His creation and we were created for His good pleasure or his enjoyment. Such should bring us joy for it brings Him joy. This joy is permanent within Him and that results in His loyalty.
Notice that the word righteousness does not appear in the list. God the Father is certainly righteous, but such is not his leading characteristic. He is compassionate, gracious, patient, and loyally affectionate. Psalm 23:6 contains the word HESED or loving kindness as well. It says, "Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of Yahweh forever." The word "follow" actually means to pursue or to hunt down. What David said at the end of his life is that the only thing that really pursued him all of his life was God's affection and loyalty.