Today’s Scripture Lesson: Psalm 103
I’m going to depart from my typical format today. Instead of asking you to open your Bible today and read it, I’m going to present the full Psalm in two parts. While I will offer my own brief commentary on each part, I do encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see the truth in His word and allow Him to be your teacher and minister.
Psalm 103:1 – 5 (NASB)
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Please re-read those 5 verses, but do so with this simple understanding: David is literally speaking in the 3rd person to his very soul, reminding his soul to speak truth regarding the Lord God.
Consider this. We all have an ongoing inner dialogue. So much of what we say is often a dialogue speaking about our situation, our condition, our faith, our relationships, our pain, our self-pity, our pride. I suppose you could easily add to this list. I know I certainly can.
Upon whom does your inner dialogue most often focus? How’s that working out for you?
Sorry to throw that last question in, but it was the question the Holy Spirit asked me and I thought maybe, for someone else who may be reading this, it might be relevant as well. Do you see the hopefulness in that which David is asking his own soul to set his focus? I’ll start you out…verse 3 says pardon and healing. What else do you see?
Let’s move on.
Psalm 103:6 – 22 (NASB)
The LORD performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
Bless the LORD, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless the LORD, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
And so, David’s soul blesses the Lord. How?
He just begins focusing on and speaking truth about his Creator. He speaks beautiful truths revealing God’s righteousness, God’s justice, God’s mercy and compassion, God’s grace, God’s steadfast love, and that God’s anger goes away. Then in verses 10 – 12, we read this incredible revelation,
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Next, he reveals God as a “father.” Not only does he reveal God as a father, but regardless of the kind of earthly father any of us have had, he reveals God is a compassionate father (v 13).
David goes on to reveal God knows our very frame. I take that two ways; God literally knows our skeletal structure, and God knows the framework of our lives and every experience which has brought us where we are in our lives at any given moment.
So, What’s the Play Call?
David reveals great wisdom in this Psalm, showing us the beauty in speaking the truth about God. We cannot speak truth about God without bringing Him glory.
I didn’t do all the work for you. Continue writing down all the revelations you see about God in the remainder of this Psalm. For more revelation, turn to the 104th Psalm. It is a continuation of the 103rd, even beginning with “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”