Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Psalm 103

When I read Psalm 103 I am encouraged! It was written by David, a man after God's own heart, but also a man who had sinned greatly and like us, needed God's forgiveness many times. I love how verse 3 tells us that God forgives ALL our sins, not just some of them. He heals all our diseases. What a promise!

He goes on to say in verse 5 that God satisfies our desires with good things. Isn't God good? Have you ever been oppressed? Put down? Unjustly used? Don't despair, God will take care of you. I have often told my children that God is the Great Equalizer. When they have been mistreated and misused by people, I remind them that God will take care of the situation, if they continue to follow Him, and He always does. Time and time again I have seen the hand of the Lord work in such situations to bring justice about for those who have been oppressed.

I think the most exciting verse in this whole psalm is verse 10 where it says that God does not treat us as our sins deserve. Wow! I'm glad for that. When I repent of my sins, He casts them away from me as far as the east is from the west. He doesn't hold them against me any more. Praise God!

Verses 13-18 reminds us that God has compassion on us. He knows that we are going to fail because we are only human; but He promises that He will love us and forgive us and have mercy on us IF we obey His commands and fear Him. 'Fearing' God is not just respecting Him. To fear God means to know our place. To realize that He holds our next breath in His hand. It means that He is God and we are not. 

So many Christians feel that they can go through life messing up, doing their own thing all the time and that God, because of His great mercy, will pat them on the head and say that's okay, don't worry about it. But we need to have a fear of God. To realize that we shouldn't mess up and if we do we quickly repent with a remorseful heart and then we will receive forgiveness and we will be careful not to mess up in that way again. Sinning should be a mistake for a Christian, not a habit. 

David ends the psalm with praise. After everything he listed in the psalm; all the reasons why we should praise God, he then tells everyone to praise the Lord. From angels to men we should all praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits— 

3 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases, 

4 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion, 

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

 6 The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.

 7 He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel: 

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love. 

9 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever; 

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities. 

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him; 

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

 13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 

14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust. 

15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field; 

16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more. 

17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children— 

18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.

 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.

 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word. 

21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will. 

22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul.

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