Summary: Psalm 103
Psalm 103: A Psalm of Praise
We have been walking through the OT together this year, and we have seen that God uses people during each season of their lives -- some seniors who thought they were ready to sit back and take it easy; some going through times of difficulty; som in their youth. Whatever season of life, God can use us right where we are. We saw in the OT God bringing Abraham’s descendants together making them into a special nation, and He gave them a king who had a heart for God, King David. David was a great leader, and was well loved by the nation of Israel. David was an artist, a musician, and wrote many ballad and songs for the nation of Israel. They were compiled together into a songbook, that was given the name “The Psalms.” Last week, we saw that there is much in the Psalms that deals with prayer.
But there is a wide variety of topics in the Psalms, for they reflect the whole range of emotions - anger, frustration, joy, questioning - whatever you’re feeling, you can probably find a Psalm that expresses your feelings. Really, that is the purpose of the Psalms -- not to teach us intellectually great truths that we need to KNOW, but rather to lead us EMOTIONALLTY to express truths that we already know. The Psalms lead us to LIVE OUT from our HEARTS what we already know in our HEADS to be true.
That’s a problem that many of us have. The staunch, stoic background that many of us were raised in tells us we can’t show emotion. Hold it all inside. Like the man who said to his wife, “Honey, I love you so much that sometimes it’s really hard not to tell you!”
Or like the man who wanted to take his wife on an airplane ride on one of the old-fashioned crop dusters, but he didn’t want to spend much money. He made a bargain with the pilot. The pilot wanted $100 for both the husband and the wife, but he told the husband, “I’ll make you a deal: If you can keep from screaming out during the ride, I’ll let you both go for $25.
The pilot did all sorts of turns and spins, trying to get the man to scream out. When they got back to the ground, the pilot congratulated the man and said, “I didn’t think you could do it.” The husband replied, “well, there was one point that was sort of hard: I really wanted to say something when my wife fell out!”
Sometimes we are like that husband when it comes to scripture. If it blesses our hearts, we really try hard not to let our face show it, and definitely not tell anyone else. But that is NEVER what God intended for us to be like. We are emotional beings. When we come to scripture, we are to laugh, to cry, to rejoice, to clap, to praise. And the Psalms lead us in all of those emotions.
Today, we want to look at the idea of PRAISE as seen in the Psalms. Throughout the Psalms we see the idea that we need to give God praise, for who He is and what He has done. But this morning, we are going to look at just one Psalm, Psalm 103, and see what it has to say to us. As we turn there, let’s pray for God to guide our time together. PRAY!
Read Psalm 103--
This is a Psalm of praise. And it starts out with the reminder to Praise the Lord. The King James Version uses the term, “Bless” the Lord. But so often we use this idea of blessing in a wrong way. We say, Johnny fell down and broke his leg -- bless his heart! But the term here for “Blessing” is really the idea of “bending the knee” before.
How can a human being “bless” God - we surely don’t give him blessing - He blesses us. But what we do offer is our PRAISE - we bend our knee before him in honor and salute. We magnify him and proclaim his greatness. This is a Psalm of Praise, reminding us that we need to be actively engaged in praising our God. And this morning, I want us to be reminded of 4 lessons about praising our God.
1. Praise is Personal - We live in a corporate society where we come and worship God as a congregation and we sometimes feel if we have been at church, we have done our part in worshiping God. Songs are sung, God’s word is read, and we feel that WE as INDIVIDUALS have praised if we have been present in the crowd. But that idea is never brought out in scripture. There are corporate things we do as a congregation, but praise always carries with is a PERSONAL aspect as well.