Yahweh our Father
Psalm 103:2-6,8-13,17-18 December 9 2012
This psalm calls more for devotion than exposition; it is a most excellent psalm of praise, and of general use. The psalmist, Stirs up himself and his own soul to praise God for his favour to him in particular , to the church in general, and to all good men, to whom he is, and will be, just, and kind, and constant , and for his government of the world . He desires the assistance of the holy angels, and all the works of God, in praising him . In singing this psalm we must in a special manner get our hearts affected with the goodness of God and enlarged in love and thankfulness.
A psalm of David.
1. 1.An exhortation to bless God for his mercy. (Psalm 103:2-6)
Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executes righteousness . And justice for all who are oppressed.
By the pardon of sin, that is taken away which kept good things from us, and we are restored to the favor of God, who bestows good things on us. Think of the provocation; it was sin, and yet pardoned: how many the provocations, yet all pardoned! God is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting. The body finds the melancholy consequences of Adam’s offence, it is subject to many infirmities, and the soul also. Christ alone forgives all our sins; it is he alone who heals all our infirmities. And the person who finds his sin cured, has a well-grounded assurance that it is forgiven. When God, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from their decays, and fills them with new life and joy, which is to them an earnest of eternal life and joy, they may then be said to return to the days of their youth, Job 33:25 .
2. And to the church and to all men. (Psalm 103:8-12)
Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.11For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward 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 pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
Trul God is good to all: he is in a special manner good to Israel. He has revealed himself and his grace to them. By his ways we may understand his precepts, the ways he requires us to walk in; and his promises and purposes. He always has been full of compassion. How unlike are those to God, who take every occasion to chide, and never know when to cease! What would become of us, if God should deal so with us? The Scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge, and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them; pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.
3. For the constancy of his mercy. (Psalm 103:17-18)
Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
How short is man’s life, and uncertain! The flower of the garden is commonly more choice, and will last the longer, for being sheltered by the garden-wall, and the gardener’s care; but the flower of the field, to which life is here compared, is not only withering in itself, but exposed to the cold blasts, and liable to be cropped and trod on by the beasts of the field. Such is man. God considers this, and pities him; let him consider it himself. God’s mercy is better than life, for it will outlive it. His righteousness, the truth of his promise, shall be unto children’s children, who tread in the footsteps of their forefathers’ piety. Then shall mercy be preserved to them.
Celebration of Deliverance
David praises God for the many mercies that unveil the compassion of Him and lead all beings everywhere to praise the Lord .
Forgiveness is the prime expression of God’s compassion for a needy humanity. These verses explain the nature of the forgiveness we enjoy as well as any passage in the O.T. or N.T.
God’s greatness is displayed in the Creation He shaped and sustains. This powerful psalm weaves praise for God through its graphic description of majestic elements of creation which show God’s power and the compassionate elements which show His concern for living creatures . No wonder the psalmist’s heart, and ours, are filled with wonder and praise .