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Summary: Bless the Lord for all He is and does

Bless the Lord

Psalm 103

May 6, 2012

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

To bless the Lord means to praise or adore Him. There are so many reasons for us to bless Him.

Bless the Lord for His Benefits To Us :1-7

2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

I think of the Israelites who seemed to constantly forget all the good things the Lord had done so that they wandered away from Him. We’re commanded to remember all His benefits to us and then given a few specifically:

3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;

If God doesn’t ever do anything else this one is praiseworthy enough. We’ve been pardoned!

Imagine a man who gets a life sentence for murder. He does ten years when the governor decides to give him a pardon. They just open the doors and let him walk out—he’s free and every debt he ever owed is paid. Would he not be glad and full of joy?

Praise the Lord because you’ve been forgiven of every iniquity to the point that we can say, “Who shall bring a charge against us?” (Rom. 8:33).

who healeth all thy diseases;

This word for diseases is only used four other times :

Deuteronomy 29:22 is the first. To paraphrase, it says, “When your children get older and when strangers come along, they’ll see the plagues and the sicknesses I’ve lain upon the land and ask, ‘Why has the Lord done this? What made Him so angry’ And the people will answer, ‘Because they’ve forsaken the covenant.’”

It’s used again in II Chronicles 21:19. Jehoram was a wicked king of Israel. As punishment it says, “his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness.”

In Jeremiah 14 there are false prophets who promise peace to the people and God basically says, “They’re lying. You’re going to see death and misery everywhere. If you go into the country you’ll find them dead from the sword. If you into the city you’ll find them ‘sick with famine.’” (:18)

In chapter 16 God reveals to Jeremiah that all the people will die “grievous deaths” because God has taken away His peace, mercy, and lovingkindness from them. (:4)

It’s very interesting to me that every time this word is used it refers to a sickness God has caused as judgment! It makes me think of Isaiah’s prophecy that “by His stripes we are healed.”

Bless the Lord because He’s healed us of our diseases—He won’t judge us with the wicked!

4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;

Don’t skip over this word “redeems” too quickly.

Israel was redeemed from exile and from Egypt.

Slaves were redeemed from slavery.

Murder victims were “redeemed” by the avenger of blood.

We are redeemed from destruction (the pit or the grave)! We know we’re going to die, but we also know we won’t stay there. When we leave this body we’re present with the Lord, and one day this body will be raised up glorified.

O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? (I Cor. 15:55)

Death has no mastery over us!

who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

This word for “crowneth” is only used a few times, and the general idea is either to surround something or to literally give a crown. I think the point here is that there’s a notion of completeness.

God surrounds us completely.

David and his men were surrounded by Saul’s army—they were desperate.

A man is truly a king once he’s been crowned.

God crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

We see that Jesus gave Himself up for us while we were enemies. How much more can compassion we expect now that we’re called brothers, children, and friends?

It makes me think of Isaiah 49:14-16:

But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. 15Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

God’s compassion towards us isn’t something that can ever change or go away. We are the children of His promise. We are His people. His love for us endures forever!

5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Compare that with Psalm 90:14—O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Compare it also with II Corinthians 4:16—though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

This goes right along with the rest of the passage. Bless the Lord because He’s forgiven us, healed us, redeemed us, and because He sustains us with His goodness. We have a constant renewal of grace and a promise of everlasting life.

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