Psalm 103

Psalm 103
Israel Praising Jehovah as Redeemer: for His Ways in Grace
Psalm 103. In this Psalm of David we have the expressions of a heart overflowing with thanks and praise for the ways of God in grace. Prophetically, this is the Spirit of Christ leading out the praises of restored Israel.
A Psalm of David.
1 Bless Jehovah, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from the pit, who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thine old age with good things; thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
vv.1-5 Jehovah Blessed for His Redeeming Grace. The Psalm opens with a burst of praise, leading the praises of Israel. Israel praises Jehovah for granting them governmental forgiveness of sins, for healing their diseases, for redeeming them, for crowning them with national blessings, and restoring their strength. These are the qualifications of the Messiah; One who could heal the sick, forgive sins, etc. Jesus proved Himself to be this Messiah, as Matthew’s gospel documents most clearly. But as He was rejected, Israel’s full blessing awaits Christ’s second coming.
6 Jehovah executeth righteousness and justice for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness.
9 He will not always chide, neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his loving-kindness toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
vv.6-12 Jehovah’s Mercy in Forgiveness. The ways of God with Israel are now revealed to them, as they were to Moses on the Mount (Ex. 34:6-7); ” Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness”. Israel rejoices in the forgiveness of Jehovah, that He had not dealt with them according to their sins, but where sin abounded, grace did much more about. Chiefly, the loving kindness of Jehovah is shown in His removing Israel’s transgressions; “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us”.
13 As a father pitieth his children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him.
14 For himself knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth:
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof knoweth it no more.
17 But the loving-kindness of Jehovah is from everlasting and to everlasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children,
18 To such as keep his covenant and to those that remember his precepts to do them.
vv.13-18 Jehovah’s Compassion in Lieu of Human Weakness. The Lord is merciful to Israel, as a human father pities his children, so Jehovah had compassion on Israel. Here it is man’s human weakness that is known and considered by the Lord. Man is so weak; “For himself knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” But in contrast to the weakness and temporary life of man, “the loving-kindness of Jehovah is from everlasting and to everlasting”. But the loving-kindness of God is only made good “upon them that fear him”.
19 Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless Jehovah, ye his angels, mighty in strength, that execute his word, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless Jehovah, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his will.
22 Bless Jehovah, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless Jehovah, O my soul!
vv.19-22 The Kingdom of the Heavens. Here we find the source of authority in the kingdom; “Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens”. The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom on earth, but the seat of authority is in the heavens. Today it is in a “mystery” phase, but in that day it will be in “manifestation”. The extent of that kingdom will be universal; “his kingdom ruleth over all”. The angels (vv.20-21) are called on to bless Jehovah, as His ministering spirits (Heb. 1:6-7). The whole creation is called to bless Jehovah (v.22), and then brought back to the Psalmist who repeats the opening expression; “Bless Jehovah, O my soul!”