When you need an attitude adjustment—as we all do from time to time—consider reading Psalm 103. It’s written by David and begins with this praise: Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. He continues, summing up the whole Psalm, Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Then, David lists some of God’s blessings. Verse numbers are in parentheses.
- Who forgiveth all thine iniquities (3)
- who healeth all thy diseases (3)
- Who redeemeth thy life from destruction (4)
- who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies (4)
- Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (5) God provides the food we need.
- The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. (6)
- He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. (7) This verse indicates how God inspired the Pentateuch and other Old Testament Scriptures.
- The LORD is merciful and gracious, (8)
- slow to anger, (8)
- and plenteous in mercy. (8)
- He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. (9)
- He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
- For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (10-12)
- Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. (13-16)
- But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. (17-18)
- The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. (19)
- Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. (20-21)
- Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion (22)
- bless the LORD, O my soul. (22)
Just reading this Psalm is wonderful.
I’d like to list four concepts that particularly stand out for me:
- God forgives, redeems, saves, and removes our sins so far away that we could never find them. Isn’t that a blessing? When the Lord forgives a sinner who comes to Him, the sin is forgotten and done away with! I love verse 10, where God’s Word says He hasn’t dealt with us according to our sins. All we ever deserved was hell, yet when we cry out to Jesus for salvation, he deals with us according to our new position in Christ. Praise Him!
- God meets our physical needs. David wrote in Psalm 37:25: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
- God understands our flesh. I believe He understood it before creation, but He understood it first-hand when Jesus became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). God really and truly understands our struggles, our frailties, our temptations, and humanity. He pities us. That word means that he loves us and has compassion on us. What a blessing! The eternal, holy, great God, who made the universe, actually understands weak human beings. Praise Him! For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
- It’s not just people who are called to bless the Lord. Angels continually praise Him, as well (verses 20-21).
Bless the Lord, O my soul:
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
May our lives bless God—with all our beings! There’s every reason to do so.
(Psalm 104 might be an extension of Psalm 103. Read the two together sometime, and see if you agree.)