Psalm 103

David gives instructions in praising God. Bring to mind the mercy of God. Bring to mind the compassion of God. And then “Praise the LORD, my soul!”

 


 

BRING TO MIND THE MERCY OF THE LORD

 

VERSE 1. Praise the LORD, my soul! All that is within me, praise his holy name!

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VERSE 2. Praise the LORD, my soul, and don’t forget all his benefits;

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VERSE 3. who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases;

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forgives all your sins. David is thankful that God forgave his guilt and “saved” him. Eternal salvation is no small matter. It’s worth celebrating all the days of your life.

heals all your diseases. Does God heal all our diseases? if so, why do so many Christians die of a disease? If not, why does this verse say he does?

Healing is described as an accepted part of life. It was not viewed as some strange fluke that only happened on rare occasions.

Do you believe God can heal your diseases?

 

VERSE 4. who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;

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loving kindness and tender mercies. God is pouring upon us his love and compassion.

 

VERSE 5. who satisfies your desire with good things,so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

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with good things. Walking with God means material blessings. People expect that God would bless godly people with tangible things.

your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Like many of the great figures of the Old Testament era, David had vibrant health well into his elderly years. God renewed his youth, and David was thankful. We believe that for the godly person, elderly years need not necessarily be a time of decrepit illness and loss of the mental faculties.

Isaiah 40:31. But those who wait for the LORD will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run, and not be weary. They will walk, and not faint.

 

BRING TO MIND THE COMPASSION OF THE LORD

 

VERSE 6. The LORD executes righteous acts, and justice for all who are oppressed.

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VERSE 7. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the children of Israel.

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made known his ways to Moses. David is meditating on the covenant loyalty that the LORD maintained with us frail sinners.

David begins with Moses. God revealed himself to Moses as compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in covenant loyalty.

 

VERSE 8. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness.

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The LORD is merciful and gracious. The ICEL translation puts it this way: “The Lord IS compassion and love.”

 

VERSE 9. He will not always accuse; neither will he stay angry forever.

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VERSE 10. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us for our iniquities.

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VERSE 11. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his loving kindness toward those who fear him.

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VERSE 12. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

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As far as the east is from the west. That is how far our sins been removed from us. God forgives and forgets. Yet some Christians worry that God will NOT forget. They probably got that idea from the way people behave. Often, people say they “forgive.” But they do not “forget.” It is natural for us to project human tendencies onto God. That is called anthropomorphism.

 

VERSE 13. Like a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

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VERSE 14. For he knows how we are made.He remembers that we are dust.

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He remembers that we are dust. God remembers that we are insignificant dust.

Genesis 2:7. The LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

 

VERSE 15. As for man, his days are like grass. As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

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VERSE 16. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone. Its place remembers it no more.

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VERSE 17. But the LORD’s loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting with those who fear him, his righteousness to children’s children;

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from everlasting to everlasting. David sees the eternality of the Lord as a comfort for us frail human beings. Our hope is not in other fragile creatures, but in the eternal God.

 

VERSE 18. to those who keep his covenant, to those who remember to obey his precepts.

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VERSE 19. The LORD has established his throne in the heavens. His kingdom rules over all.

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AND THEN PRAISE THE LORD, MY SOUL!

 

VERSE 20. Praise the LORD, you angels of his, who are mighty in strength, who fulfill his word, obeying the voice of his word.

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you angels. David believed in angels. He saw them as attentive and obedient, mighty and strong.

 

VERSE 21. Praise the LORD, all you armies of his, you servants of his, who do his pleasure.

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VERSE 22. Praise the LORD, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul!

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