Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits –
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
the Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children –
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.(Ps. 103:1-22 NIV)
Though the Lord is angry with sin and sinners, He does not mete out the judgement that sin deserves, nor does He prolong His anger. He is compassionate and gracious towards his erring people.
The extent of the love of God is higher than the heavens are above the earth. The Lord’s love surrounds those who fear the Lord. As God’s love is great, so in love God has removed our sins as far as the East is from the West. Our sins are banished from sight never to be brought up again as a subject. We who have been forgiven are not so quick to forgive others. If someone offends us we can usually put together a long list of all the offences to charge them with. God who hears every word, knows every thought and sees every action; what if God were to keep a record of wrong? When we confess God forgives and removes the record.
God has a father-like compassion for His children. God shows us compassion because He knows that we were formed from the dust of the ground and He remembers how weak and prone to sin we are.
Our days are short and time passes by so quickly. Like the flower of the field we pass away. The wind blows over the place where we lived and the memory of us passes away. In contrast the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. While the memory of us will vanish the Lord has left us with the eternal legacy of His covenant love. That covenant love will go with us into eternity. The covenant blessing is extended to the generations who come behind us. All who keep the covenant will be blessed. Because we enjoy covenant love the Lord has caused us to want to keep His commandments.
The Lord’s throne is established eternally in Heaven. God will establish His Kingdom upon earth and all will obey and honour Him.
Quite often in the Psalms, the Psalmist is so enthusiastic about praising God that he calls for a large choir to join in the praise. In Psalm 98 the Psalmist called for the mountains and rivers to join in the praise. Here in this Psalm the Psalmist calls for the holy angels to join the praise to swell the ranks of those who will life their voice to praise the Lord. The Psalmist concludes his Psalm as he begun, ‘Praise the Lord, my soul.’
Father we thank You for the compassionate love that we have been shown. We thank You that You have removed our sins and that You show us repeated compassion as You know how sinful we are. Lord we praise Your name for the salvation that You have brought us. We thank You that You will continue to show Your love to us throughout eternity. Help us to keep Your commandments through this little while that we have on earth. Receive our praise and petitions in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.