Summary: The whole universe will praise God Almighty, and you can too in spite of your circumstances.
We’re finishing our walk through Psalm 103 where we’re talking about the lavishness of God – His extravagance…who He is, what He does. We’re looking at the last four verses of Psalm 103 today. This is a psalm of David and if you recall – let me refresh our memories – the Psalm starts out with David praising God. He says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” David actually tells himself – gives instructions to himself – to praise God. That’s good news for us because if we’re honest, many times we don’t feel like praising God. Maybe some circumstances in life are such that the last thing that we want to do is praise God and thank him. As a matter of fact, if we are really honest with ourselves, we’re a little fed up with God sometimes and He isn’t hearing our prayers or different things. But here, praise and to bless the Lord isn’t a feeling or it isn’t an emotion. It isn’t something that we get caught up in, although sometimes we can. It’s really an attitude of the heart. And David - he instructs his own heart – he tells himself, “Bless the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
Now maybe some of you are thinking, “Well that’s easy for David to tell himself to praise God – to praise the Lord. I mean he was King of all Israel. He killed Goliath and he had fame and people were calling out his name and Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands. David was the big man on campus. So it’s easy for him to call on God and say, ‘praise you God. Bless your name’.
But David had more heartaches and probably more trials than many of us will ever face. He stumbled into some deep sin. He committed adultery and to cover up that adultery because the woman whom he slept with got pregnant, he had her husband killed. And then his sin was found out. That baby that was born as a result of that died at seven days old. That’s tough. That’s reality. That’s life.
David was living in a time of war and he was fighting all the time to establish his kingdom and his throne. And when some of his sons grew older they fought over that very throne. One even tried to take David’s life and David was back on the run again. David had a lot to be thankful for – to bless God for – but he also had many circumstances in life that would stir up anything but praise.
But he instructs himself in the first five verses to bless the Lord. Bless him. Praise Him because He forgives all sins, all iniquities. He forgives them. Because he redeems my life from the pit. He crowns my life with His steadfast love. He restores my youth like the eagles.
So then he goes on. He goes on to move from personal praise and blessing of God to then praise for how God has operated and worked in and through the people of Israel. Verses 6 through 14. If you recall we see some of the things that God does for His people. He keeps His covenant, His steadfast covenant love, His lovingkindness. He doesn’t repay people for their sins. He has shown His ways to Moses – His acts to the sons of Israel…the nation of Israel. So David praises Him for that. So we see that He moves from personal praise to praise for the nation of Israel and the people of God – people who enter into covenant with God – and then He broadens it.