Psalm 103 - The Everlasting King

INTRODUCTION: This Psalm describes benefits from the LORD for all who praise him as the king who has established his throne in heaven and he rules over all Creation. He is a compassionate father who knows the weaknesses, temptations, and brevity of life for those who dwell on the earth. The everlasting good things will not be withheld from those who have placed their trust in the true and living God, and live here with His kingdom in mind.

NOTE: All Bible passages are from the New Heart English Bible (NHEB).

A - JOYFULLY GIVE PRAISE FOR ALL THE BENEFITS FROM THE LORD

Psalm 103 "1 Praise the LORD, my soul! All that is within me, praise his holy name! 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and do not forget all his benefits; 3 who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases; 4 who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies; 5 who satisfies your desire with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

COMMENTS: The very knowledge of and belief in the God who renews life to our soul in a way incomparably superior to our natural body, should enable us to put aside the trials that otherwise hinder our joyful praise. Forgiveness of our inherent sin and the redemption of our soul from what would be certain destruction, is the crown the LORD provides through loving kindness and tender mercies. We anticipate with confident expectation the time when we will be satisfied with everlasting good things, and our youth will be renewed like the eagle's. A passage from another Psalm and one from Isaiah compliment the first five verses of Psalm 103.

Psalm 116 "12 What will I give to the LORD for all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the LORD. 14 I will pay my vows to the LORD, yes, in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his holy ones." Isaiah 40 "28 Haven't you known? Haven't you heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn't faint. He isn't weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak. He increases the strength of him who has no might. 30 Even the youths faint and get weary, and the young men utterly fall; 31 But those who wait for the LORD will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagle's. They will run, and not be weary. They will walk, and not faint."


B - THE LORD REMOVES THE TRANSGRESSIONS FROM THOSE WHO FEAR HIM

Psalm 103 "6 The LORD executes righteous acts, and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the children of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness. 9 He will not always accuse; neither will he stay angry forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us for our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his loving kindness toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

COMMENTS: The LORD chose Moses to be his instrument in the flesh to bring the children of Israel out of the oppressive bondage in Egypt: to be established as a people for his name. Moses represented the LORD before Pharaoh, but Pharaoh's rejection of repeated signs from the LORD continued to multiply judgments upon all of the Egyptians until the children of Israel came out of Egypt. Soon after Israel was in the wilderness away from Egypt, they forgot all the miracles the LORD had performed; and how much they could depend on his provision for them if they would trust in him. Over and over, some of the people rebelled against Moses and the LORD; and righteous judgment came upon the most flagrant rebellions. But because of the loving kindness of the LORD, he did not always accuse and show his anger to them for every sin; and he likewise does not immediately deal with us for every sin that we allow to draw us away from him. His loving kindness is greater than the highest heights for those who fear him; and we can praise him as our transgressions are cast far away and he remembers them no more. Centuries later, Israel had not kept the message of Psalms in their hearts, and the LORD guided Jeremiah to write prophecy near the end of the final ruling period of kings in Jerusalem. After Christ the Lord completed his sacrificial work, the passage from Hebrews has continuing application.

Jeremiah 31 ""31 Behold, the days come," says the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them," says the LORD. 33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," says the LORD: "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: 34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD'; for they shall all know me, from their least to their greatest," says the LORD: "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more."" Hebrews 10 "14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, 16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them: 'After those days,' says the Lord, 'I will put my laws on their heart, I will also write them on their mind'"; then he says, 17 "I will remember their sins and their iniquities no more.""


C - THE LORD'S LOVING KINDNESS IS FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING FOR THOSE WHO FEAR HIM

Psalm 103 "13 Like a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. 14 For he knows how we are made. He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass. As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone. Its place remembers it no more. 17 But the LORD's loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting with those who fear him, his righteousness to children's children; 18 to those who keep his covenant, to those who remember to obey his precepts."

COMMENTS: The inspired writing of the psalmist was at the beginning of the era of Israel's kings, yet the end of physical life for mankind since Adam fell to sin in the Garden will always be inevitable. Genesis 3 "19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return." In the New Testament James reminds all believers that being humble before God is important for everyone, whether of low position or high position in their lifetime. James 1 "9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; 10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. 11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which he promised to those who love him." James used the term "brothers" as he reminded them of the brevity of life in the present world, and emphasized the "crown of life" promised for those who are humble as they truly love the LORD The message of Scripture is consistent that the loving kindness of the LORD is everlasting with those who fear him; and his righteousness is given to those who keep his covenant, and remember to obey his precepts.


D - THE LORD RULES OVER THE WHOLE EARTH FROM HIS THRONE IN HEAVEN

Psalm 103 "19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens. His kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the LORD, you angels of his, who are mighty in strength, who fulfill his word, obeying the voice of his word. 21 Praise the LORD, all you armies of his, you servants of his, who do his pleasure. 22 Praise the LORD, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul!"

COMMENTS: The LORD is an eternal King and heaven has always been the place of his throne, and the earth became a part of that kingdom when he created it for mankind. There is no wonder that all of his mighty angels and the entire heavenly host praise the LORD as they fulfill his word as spoken, and serve him by doing his pleasure. Likewise, all of the works of the LORD throughout all of his dominions exist to offer praise to the LORD. The psalmist, as he wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, closed the Psalm with his own praise to the LORD from within his very soul!

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, I want to sincerely praise your holy name from the inner being of my soul for all the benefits you have given me by your grace. I believe that by your mercy you have forgiven my sins, healed the diseases that are temporary in this life, and have redeemed my life from ultimate destruction. You have given me a crown of loving kindness and tender mercies that assure my satisfaction with good things when my youth is renewed like the eagle's. LORD, I know you execute righteous acts, and justice for all who are oppressed. I praise you, LORD, for mercy and grace as you are slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness: You have not dealt with me according to my sins and iniquities since I have turned to you, but have removed them to be remembered no more. I thank you for loving me as my Father God who knows everything about the shortfalls and brevity of my life. Give me strength, LORD, to keep your covenant, and to remember to obey your precepts. LORD, I believe you are the eternal King who has absolute authority from your heavenly throne over all physical and spiritual dominions that exists because you are the Creator God. I praise you my LORD and my King with all my heart and soul. Amen, and amen.

Published 23 December 2018