Today’s Scripture reading is like refreshing waters from a mountain stream! While recent Scripture readings have given voice to men in the midst of sorrows and afflictions (reminding us we live in a fallen, sinful world),Psalms 103-104 turns our focus to the LORD, with songs of praise, and rejoicing. King David, the author of Psalm 103, reminds us that we are to give thanks to the LORD, and praise His name. This devotional is the first of two for today.
Psalm 103 may be divided into three sections. The first is a call or summons for thanksgiving. David’s soul was stirred to praise the LORD, to praise “his holy name,” and to stir himself to never forget “all his benefits [all that the LORD has done]” (103:1-2).
Psalm 103 lists the many reasons we should give thanks to the LORD (103:3-6).
God’s people are to be thankful, for He forgives our sins (103:3a), and restores our health (103:3b). Be thankful, for the LORD is our protector, and He encircles us with His love and “tender mercies” (103:4). He satisfies and strengthens us (103:5), and is our intercessor; He is just, making right where we have been wronged (103:6).
David’s song celebrates God’s revelation of His divine character. (103:7-16)
He is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and compassionate (103:7-8). He is like a father, He takes pity on us in spite of our failings (103:9). His mercies are inexhaustible, “for as the heaven is high above the earth, So great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (103:11). When He forgives sin, He never again holds them against us, for “as far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (103:12). The LORD loves us like a father (103:13), and though He is Almighty God, He never forgets “we are dust” (103:14). We are temporal, as grass, and “as a flower of the field” (103:15), and as the wind passes and is soon forgotten, we perish, and are no more (103:16).
The Character of the Children of God (103:17-18)
In spite of our frailty and failings, God loves us! His mercy is extended to those who fear Him and “is from everlasting to everlasting …and his righteousness unto children’s children” (103:17). What is the character of God’s children? They “keep his covenant, and…remember His commandments to do them” (103:18).
Closing thoughts: David concluded Psalm 103 by reminding all who worship the LORD that He is the sovereign of “the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all” (103:19). Four times the king summoned all Creation to praise and worship the LORD: “Bless the LORD, ye his angels…Bless ye the LORD, all ye hosts [armies of heaven]; Ye ministers [servants] of his, that do his pleasure. 22Bless the Lord, all his works [creation] in all places of his dominion: Bless the Lord, O my soul” (103:20-22).
Take a moment, count your blessings, worship and praise the LORD. He alone is worthy of your praise!
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith