Hovering over Psalm 103 this morning. A familiar friend. A welcome reminder. A catalyst for worship.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.
(Psalm 103:1-2 ESV)
Who the LORD is (His holy name), and how He has dealt with with us (all His benefits), are inextricably linked and, when pondered, prime the pump of praise. The living water of the Spirit deep within pours forth from the heart as a river of humble appreciation, adoration, and acclamation (Jn. 7:38-39).
For, while He is the God whose throne is established in the heavens and whose kingdom rules forever over all (v. 19), and while we are but dust whose days are as fleeting as a flower which flourishes but for a short time (v. 14-16), the steadfast love of the LORD in heaven is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him (v.17). So, how do you love forever those which are fleeting? By providing a way for them to live forever too! Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Thus, the LORD who works righteousness and is compelled by justice (v. 6), not only makes a way for the unrighteous to justly stand before Him, but also to eternally, and effectively thrive through Him. He forgives all our sin, heals all our heart-born disease, redeems our lives from the pit, crowns us with unfailing love and mercy, and satisfies us with His own goodness so that daily we are renewed with supernatural renewal (v. 3-5).
And how is all this possible?
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103:10-12 ESV)
He does not deal with us according to our sins. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning. That’s what I’m thankful for this morning. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Instead, He deals with us according to His steadfast love. His great and unfailing, unfaltering love. The love with which God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jn 3:16). So grateful this morning for the cross. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
And what comes to mind is Paul’s desire that God’s people would be “rooted and grounded” in that great love. Able to comprehend the love of Christ which is incomprehensible. Being able to lay hold of its “breadth and length and height and depth” (Eph. 3:17-19). Seems Psalm 103 helps give some definition to those dimensions.
The steadfast love of the LORD is as high as His throne in the heavens above. It is as deep as the corrupted, frail flesh of every man, woman, and child on earth below. Its breadth from everlasting to everlasting. And its length as far as the east is from the west.
He does not deal us according to our sins because of the length to which His love has removed our sins from us — as far as the east is from the west. And, unlike heading north will eventually become heading south, the east never meets up with west. Our sins, having been forgiven through the finished work of cross; our transgressions, having been atoned for by the shed blood of the Lamb; are put away. All of them — past, present, and future — put away forever. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Forget not all His benefits.
Because of grace. For His glory.