Book #4: 90-106, cont’d.
Psalm 103:1-18-David calls on the people to “bless” (praise, give glory) the Lord and to never forget all that He does for us. The Hebrew word “benefits” (NASV, :2b), speaks of the good ways that God has dealt with and interacted with them in the past (NLT-“good things”, Message-“blessings”). And just in case we have forgotten, he proceeds to list numerous things He has done. He (is)…
- “pardons all your iniquities” (:3a)…He forgives our sins
- “heals all your diseases” (:3b)…He heals us from sickness
- “redeems your life from the pit” (:4a)…to purchase, ransom, buy back from the pit, the grave…He doesn’t leave us in the grave (death symbolizes separation from God) but pays the price for our sin so that we can rise from the dead to eternal life with Him.
- “crowns you with lovingkindness” (:4b)…love that is zealous toward someone
- “and compassion” (:4b)…tenderness that comes from the inner most part of a person, from the heart
- “satisfies your years with good things” (:5)…God blesses us with material possessions
- “performs righteous deeds, and judgments for all who are oppressed” (:6)…He doesn’t allow the wicked to have victory, but rescues the oppressed and judges the wicked.
- “made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel” (:7)…He has revealed Himself and what He expects from us.
- “compassionate” (:8a)…This word is used only of God and it means to love deeply with tender affection.
- “gracious” (:8a)…to show favor, mercy and pity
- “slow to anger” (:8b)…”slow” means to be patient; the word “anger” comes from a root word that speaks of the nose, where we breathe…picture a person becoming so angry that their nose flares and they start breathing rapidly (like a bull)
- “abounding in lovinkindness” (:8b)…”abounding” means “abundant, multitude, greatly”; see verse 4b for “lovingkindness”
- “not always strive with us” (:9)…to strive is to hold onto something, to be unwilling to give something up…God will not be unwilling to let go of our sins, He will not hold them over our head.
- “nor will He keep His anger forever” (:9)…He will not be angry for the sake of being angry…and just continue being so, on and on.
- “has not dealt with us according to our sins…” (:10)…God deals with us based not on our sin, but His love.
- “great is His lovinkindness toward those who fear Him” (:11)…the love of God for us is so “great” (mighty, strong) that the only way to describe it is to compare it to the distance between the earth and the stars.
- “so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (:12)…when God forgives our sins they are completely removed…the only way to describe how far is to compare it to the distance between the east and the west...it is unending.
- “the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him” (:13)…”compassion” is the same word used in 8a…to “fear” God means to revere Him, to respect His Who He is.
- “knows our frame…is mindful that we are but dust” (:14)…”knows” means to be aware, to be understand something clearly; “mindful” means to not forget something; “frame” speaks of how something was made; “dust” speaks of what something was made from, the fact that man is a part of creation…God is constantly aware that man is a part of creation, and as such, suffers from the consequences of sin.
- “lovingkindness is from everlasting to everlasting” (:15-17a)…God’s love is based on His eternal nature, not on man’s temporal nature.
- “righteousness to children’s children” (:17b-18)…God’s dealing with people in a righteous manner is based on His nature, not the nature of an individual…so it continues from generation to generation, despite whether people are deserving, or not.
Psalm 103:19-22-David says that God rules from Heaven over all things. He then calls upon all of the…
- “angels”…that obey His commands
- “hosts”…that accomplish His orders (this word literally speaks of “that which goes forth organized as an army for warfare“)
- “works”…that reveal His reign (this word speaks of “achievements, products, things made, created”…”dominion” speaks of the fact that since God is their creator, He is sovereign over these things)
…to join his own voice in praise to God. In other words, all of Heaven (the spiritual realm) is joining in with all of earth (the physical realm) in worship of God.
This Psalm exalts God by demonstrating His sovereign rule over all of creation. It seems to actually follow the days of creation..."a poetic parallel to Genesis 1". After reading this Psalm, Robert Grant wrote the song, "O Worship the King".
Matthew Henry explains this Psalm with much beauty and eloquence…
The Psalmist portrays God as the One Who…
Psalm 104:1-4-created the heavens.
- The Psalmist says that God is “clothed” by His creation…meaning that the creation reveals the royalty and sovereignty of God much like a robe and a crown reveal a king (:1-2).
Psalm 104:5-9-created the earth.
- Originally the earth was completely covered over by water. But God commanded and dry land rose up and seashores were established.
Psalm 104:10-23-adapted the earth to meet the needs of animal life.
- Fresh water springs begin to flow…providing water for plants and animals.
- The sun and moon affect both the 24 hour cycle and the seasonal cycle.
Psalm 104:24-30-created animal life.
- God created all of the animal life that is on the land and in the sea.
- God is sovereign over all of life…both in providing for its survival and determining its end.
Psalm 104:31-35-is worthy of praise.
- When the Psalmist contemplates these things…his soul lifts up his voice in praise. He will continue to do so as long as he lives.
Prayer: Lord, don’t ever let me forget for even a moment…all that You have done for me. Keep my mind focused on You at all times. And let my life be a song of constant praise. As I look around and see the works of Your hand…let everything that I see be a source of praise.