Psalms

Psalm 103 – God is so good

God is so good.

 

SING: “Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven” [P.103b]

 

This psalm is an expression of deep gratitude and praise to God for all his goodness and grace to ME. {David the writer} v1-5

Also of his goodness and mercy to his covenant people v6-18

And finally the psalmist summons all creation to praise God v19-22

 

READ:

Psalm 103:1-22

1 [Of David.]

Praise the LORD, O my soul;

all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, O 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.

 

  1. God’s blessings to me.

 

These 1st 5 verses are very personal – David is the writer.

ILLUS.: Talking to oneself is considered by some to be the first sign of madness…

BUT the psalmist here and on many other occasions does just that. It is good to talk to ourselves – instead of listening to ourselves. C H Spurgeon once said “Some of the best talks in the world are those a man has with himself. He who speaks to everyone except himself is a great fool.”

When we are overwhelmed by problems and feeling sorry for ourselves it is good to talk to ourselves esp. in the Words of scriptures.

“Listen Soul! Praise the Lord and don’t forget all his benefits!!”

David confronts his reluctant soul to worship God.

He does two things:

  • Praises God for who he is – “his holy name”. God is unique and awesome.
    • Praises God for what he has done-“All his benefits” to me. [implied]

 

His desire is that his worship of God will be total/complete. He wants to respond with “ALL his inmost being” to “ALL God’s benefits”

God’s benefits are complete dealing with body and soul –

Negatively:-

forgives all your sins

heals all your diseases,

redeems your life from the pit [grave – sheol – the place of the dead]

 

Positively:-

Crowns him with love and compassion

Makes him not just a child of the King of kings but also makes him a king. We too will reign with Christ as Royalty!

Satisfies his deepest desires

Continually strengthens him like and eagle [cf Isaiah 40:31 31 .. those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)]

 

These then are God’s benefits – They are all promised, but only in Glory will we enjoy them to their fullest extent.

 

PRAYER – Praise and thanksgiving for ALL God’s goodness.

 

Testimony – Margarit Ryan – God’s goodness to her.

 

SING: “Give thanks with a grateful heart” – [P.174]

 

 

READ: 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 harbour his anger for ever;

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 As for man, his days are like grass,

he flourishes 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.

 

  1. God’s blessings to His people.

 

Psalmist now moves from sg. to pl.

From what he has done for ME to what he has done for his people.

 

He describes God as being righteous and just [v6]

We only know this about God because he has revealed himself – [v7 – made himself know to Moses and his people]

What we learn from God’s revelation – through his speaking to His people and his dealings with his people – is that [v8] The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

 

The Psalmist now reinforces this statement: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love

 

1st with two negatives:

  • He will NOT always accuse – there is a time limit to God’s anger against sin.
  • He does NOT treat us as our sins deserve – he restraints his anger and treats us with compassion and mercy rather than with judgement.

 

2nd with three positive examples:

  • V.11 – His love is as high as the heavens – infinite
  • V.12. – His forgiveness has no limit – east and west never meet.
  • V.13 – His pity / compassion is as tender as a Father for his child

WHY does he treat us this way?  V-14. He knows we are frail / feeble / human being unable to help ourselves.

 

3rd with a striking contrast:

With the mention of our human frailty the psalmist expands this thought and contrasts it with God’s eternal love.

In comparison to eternity our life on earth, even if we live to be 100, is but a speck on the time line of eternity. Our life is so transient, so fragile BUT BY CONTRAST God is forever, God is permanent …

BUT Note … those who are in a covenant relationship with God [v.17] will enjoy His Love “from everlasting to everlasting”  SO while this physical life may be here today and gone tomorrow we will live forever with him IF we belong to him!!

 

COMMENT / QUESTION?

 

SING: “O thank the Lord..” [P.279]

“The steadfast love of the Lord..” [P.280]

 

3. God’s jurisdiction over the universe.

 

READ       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, O my soul. (NIV)

 

The Psalm is of three ever increasing concentric circle – God’s jurisdiction extent over, ME, HIS PEOPLE, THE UNIVERSE.

 

His throne is in heaven and he rules over ALL [v.19]

1st he addresses The Mighty Angels in heaven THEN all the rest of the heavenly beings [v20-21]

2nd  he turns to the rest of creation and summons them to bow down and worship God [v.22]

Finally, having moved from here [me] to the ends of the universe he comes back and talks to himself again – seeing himself in correct perspective – “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”

 

COMMENT / QUESTION?

 

SING: “Praise the Lord! My soul is singing” [P.103a]

 

Prayer: Open LIZ – HBC –

 

SING: “How good is the God we adore” [P.788]

 

 

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