Psalm 103:1-5 - Praise The Lord, O My Soul; And All That Is Within Me, Praise His Holy Name.

Psalm 103:1-5 - Praise The Lord, O My Soul; And All That Is 
Within Me, Praise His Holy Name. 

Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV) Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost 
being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget 
not all his benefits-- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all 
your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you 
with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good 
things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.  

Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT) Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my 
whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise 
the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He 
forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from 
death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life 
with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's!  


In this great psalm of praise, one of the most joyful of the 
Psalter, David calls upon every faculty of his being to bless the Lord. 
"Bless", in the KJV, is used here with the meaning "esteem greatly" or 
"praise" (cf. Eph 1:3). [Believer's SB] 

What does it mean to "praise the LORD"? Everything everywhere is 
to praise the Lord: all angels--mighty ones and heavenly hosts--and 
all his works! Praising God means remembering all he has done for 
us, fearing him and obeying his commands, and doing his will. [The 
One Year Bible Companion re Psa. 103:1-22] 

What is the meaning of the word "hallelujah"? Hallelujah means 
"praise the Lord." It is uses in the Bible only in songs of praise and 
appears exclusively in the books of Psalms and Revelation (Rev. 19:1-6, 
where it appears four times). The word "alleluia" in Revelation is a 
transliteration from the Hebrew word. Other Hebrew words for praise, hillel and 
hallel, appear many times in the Old Testament. The word "hallelujah," 
the highest form of praise, occurs only about fifteen times in the 
Old Testament, all in the Psalms. [The One Year Bible Companion re 
Psalms 111:1] 

Praise is thanking God for his many gracious gifts. David's 
praise focused on God's glorious deeds. It is easy to complain about 
life, but David's list gives us plenty for which to praise God--he 
forgives our sins, heals our diseases, redeems us from death, crowns us 
with love and compassion, satisfies our desires, and gives 
righteousness and justice. We receive all of these without deserving any of 
them. No matter how difficult your life's journey, you can always 
count your blessings--past, present, and future. When you feel as 
though you have nothing for which to praise God, read David's list. 
[Life Application SB] 

Note the six blessings in vv. 3-5: forgives, heals, redeems, 
crowns, satisfies, renews. [SDA Bible Commentary] 

Forget not. A warning frequently uttered by Moses (see Deut. 
4:9, 23; etc.). "We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we 
shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past 
history" (LS196). "Lest we forget" is the refrain of Rudyard Kipling's 
Victorian jubilee poem, "Recessional." [SDA Bible Commentary] 


Psalm 103: Praise to the Lord for His Love, Goodness and Mercy.

Ps. 103 has been described as one of the most exuberant of the 
psalms. It is the spontaneous expression of a heart full of praise to 
God for His grace and compassion. In it David praises God for 
blessings in his own life (vv. 1-5), tells of the loving-kindness God 
exercises toward His children generally (vv. 6-14), shows man's dependence 
upon the mercy God (vv. 15-18), and invites the whole creation to 
worship God (vv. 19-22). Ps. 103 and 104 are companion psalms, the first 
celebrating the wonders of God in His compassion and mercy, the second 
celebrating His wonders in creation. [SDA Bible Commentary] 

Ps 103 A hymn to God's love and compassion toward his people. 
(See introduction to Ps 101.) Calls to praise frame the body of the 
hymn (vv. 1-2, 20-22) and set its tone. The recital of praise falls 
into two unequal parts: (1) a three-verse celebration of personal 
benefits received (vv. 3-5) and (2) a 14-verse recollection of God's 
mercies to his people Israel (vv. 6-19). The major division (vv. 6-19) 
is composed of six couplets framed by vv. 6 and 19, which describe 
the general character of God's reign. Thematic development divides 
the six couplets into two equal parts (vv. 7-12, 13-18), of which 
the first celebrates God's compassion on his people as sinners while 
the second sings of his compassion on them as frail mortals. The two 
concluding couplets proclaim the vastness of his love (vv. 11-12) and its 
unending perseverance (vv. 17-18). As with the hymn found in Ps 33, the 
length of the psalm has been determined by the number of letters in the 
Hebrew alphabet (see introduction to Ps 33). [NIV SB] 

   David makes no requests in this psalm. All he does is praise 
the Lord for three wonderful blessings, which he names in verses 3-5 
and then explains in the rest of the psalm.  
   Forgiveness (3, 10-14). Forgiveness is like healing when you 
are sick (1 Pet. 2:24), relief when you are burdened (vv. 11-12; 
Lev. 16:20-22; John 1:29), and reconciliation when you have hurt 
someone (vv. 13-14). All of this comes because Jesus died for your sins 
on the cross and you have trusted Him.  
   Redemption (4, 6-9). God redeemed the nation from bondage and 
from difficulties they faced on their journey to Canaan. He frees us 
that He might be our Master and care for us forever. When He crowns 
us, He transforms slaves into kings (Rom. 5:17). What grace!  
   Satisfaction (5, 15-18). Man is frail and temporary, but 
believers enjoy "eternal youth" and spiritual renewal. David compares it 
to the eagle that looks old but still soars upward with new 
strength (Isa. 40:31).  
   You belong to the King who rules over everything (v. 19)! The 
angels praise Him (vv. 20-22), so why not join in their worship? 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Psa. 103] 


Nobody Loves Me
   Some people live on the dark side of the moon. Phone them and 
they give you an earful about how the world is mistreating them. They 
can't think of anything for which to be thankful, and reminding them 
of their blessings only seems to irritate them.  
   Psalm 103 provides a great example. It's a count-your 
blessings psalm, a simple reminder to be thankful.  
   The other two psalms in this reading also give us reasons to 
be thankful. Psalm 102 teaches us how to receive God's comfort when 
we're in distress. Psalm 104 helps us appreciate God through his 
creation and the way he cares for it.  
   Read Psalms 102-104 
   David's praise in Psalm 103 focused on God's glorious deeds 
(103:3-19). People often complain when they are tired, needy, and 
frustrated. But David's list gives us plenty for which to praise God: God 
forgives our sins, heals our diseases, redeems us from death, crowns us 
with love and compassion, satisfies our desires, and intervenes for 
people who suffer injustice (103:1-22).  
   The best part is that we receive all these blessings without 
deserving any of them. And God never shows partiality-giving good things 
to his favorites and leaving out the others.  
   No matter how difficult your circumstances are today, count 
your blessings-past, present, and future. Keep them in mind when you 
feel as though you have nothing for which to praise God. If that 
doesn't work, remind yourself of what God has done for you by reading 
David's list. [The One Year Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman 
re vv. 2-6; 8-12] 

Let Me Count the Ways
   Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote one of the English 
language's most powerful love poems. It begins: 
      How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
      I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
      My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight and it ends
      With my lost saints--I love thee with the breath,
      Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
      I shall but love thee better after death.
   Browning's powerful poem wasn't the first to count love's 
ways. The first was David, who a thousand years before Christ set down 
a list in Psalm 103 of ways in which God loves you and me. And his 
list is far more specific, far more extensive, and far more wonderful 
than Browning's. 
   How does God love us? He forgives our sins and heals our 
diseases (v. 3). He preserves our life and crowns us with love and 
compassion (v. 4). He satisfies our desires with good things (v. 5). He 
works justice for the oppressed (v. 6). He made known His ways to 
Moses and revealed Himself in history's mighty acts (v. 7). 
   And the list goes on.
      He is compassionate and slow to anger (v. 8). He does not 
treat us as our sins deserve (v. 10). 
   And still there is more. Far too much to record in this brief 
   But if life ever seems hard and the future so bleak that you 
can see nothing but darkness ahead, turn in your Bible to this psalm 
that celebrates God's love. As you count with David the ways that God 
loves you, the darkness will break. And, with David, you will be 
lifted up to sing God's praise. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Owl Or Eagle
   Charles Haddon Spurgeon notes the contrast between the owl 
and the eagle in two verses from the Psalms: "I am like an owl of 
the desert" (Psalm 102:6, KJV), and "Thy youth is renewed like the 
eagle's!" (Psalm 103:5, KJV). Spurgeon believed that David was the author 
of both psalms because of their "Davidic ring."  
   One man, two moods. Like David, we also experience both 
desolation and exultation.  
   We may feel like a desert owl when we're weighed down by our 
sins and failures or overwhelmed by reversals. Spurgeon outlines 
situations that drag us down like that: financial troubles, illness, job 
loss, fears about dying. His advice? "Give up the habit of looking in 
and around you." He emphasizes that no matter how bad things may be, 
we can rejoice in our salvation.  
   "What a mercy it is," he writes, "to shake off depression and 
say with Habakkuk, 'Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither 
shall fruit be in the vines; ... the flock shall be cut off from the 
fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in 
the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation' [Habakkuk 3: 17-18, 
KJV]. This is the way to leave the owl in the desert, and to let the 
eagle soar upwards."  
   Spurgeon continues in this vein by asking, "Suppose we have 
miseries-have we not also mercies? Is your way rough? Yet your God leads you. 
Do you traverse a desert? Yet the manna has fallen even there! Are 
you weary and footsore? Remember that 'there remaineth therefore a 
rest to the people of God'" (Hebrews 4:9, KJV).  
   Spurgeon concludes his observations by contrasting the owl's 
avoidance of sun light and the eagle's soaring in it. Like the eagle, we 
can be lifted by the Spirit's thermals beneath our wings. "The Lord 
alone can change spiritual sadness into spiritual gladness," he 
declares. "He alone can turn the owl into an eagle."  
   Lord, I often feel more like an owl than an eagle. Lift me 
now, I pray, by your power and grace so that I can soar above the 
troubles and concerns that make me look down instead of up to you.  
   He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like 
the eagle's! Psalm 103:5, NLT [The One Year Book of Encouragement by 
Harold Myra] 

Pleading God's Attributes
   Christians of times past felt that prayer found its greatest 
inspiration in the Lord himself, and they had a term called "pleading God's 
attributes," in which they would recount particular attributes of God's 
character to him and then ask him to answer their prayer on the basis of 
those attributes: "Lord, you are merciful and gracious, so have mercy 
on me." "Lord, you are full of unfailing love. Show us your love in 
this situation." "Lord, you delivered your servant Daniel; I pray for 
your deliverance in my life." "You revealed your character and deeds 
to Moses and your people. Likewise, please reveal yourself to me!" 
Since God's attributes are numerous throughout Scripture, they provide 
a never-ending source of inspiration for our prayer life. Praying 
God's attributes renews our faith and confidence and reminds us of his 
greatness and his ability to save. Choose one of the attributes of God 
from this psalm to "plead" as you pray today.  
   LORD, you are _______ [merciful, gracious, full of unfailing 
love]. I ask you to reveal this in my life today. Thank you for 
revealing your wondrous attributes to us in your Word. As I read it, 
continually open my eyes to who you really are so that my prayers will rest 
on the solid foundation of your character. May my prayer have power 
because they are based on the truth about you. [Praying Through The 
Bible By Fuller re vv. 3-8] 

Rightly viewed, all the perfections of deity become pleas for 
faith. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)  


Renewed By A Psalm
   During a time in my life when I struggled with wanting to 
believe that God was a God of grace, mercy, and love, I "camped" in 
Psalm 103. I read this chapter every day-sometimes several times a 
day. Eventually, this one chapter redeemed my image of God and gave 
me hope that the Lord is gracious, loving, and slow to anger.  
   Although I was raised in a mainstream denomination, I was 
still affected by some of the aftermath of a serious season of 
legalism that the denomination went through. It's hard to view a 
stringent, condemning God as loving or to believe that he really loves you. 
Once I realized that God was more interested in renewing my youth 
"like the eagle's" than he was in condemning me, I yearned to know 
this in my soul. I set out on a mission to bathe my heart in Psalm 
103. And God began to renew my spiritual and emotional youth-began to 
heal my image of him-so that all things became new again.  
   Now I visit Psalm 103 often, and I revel in it, knowing that 
no matter where I go or what I do, God's love for me is as high as 
the heavens are above the earth. And whether or not I measure up, he 
is constant. His love is forever. His strength will never fail.  
   Debra White Smith, a speaker and the host of the Real Life 
Minute radio program, is the author of more than fifty books and 
novels, including Romancing Your Husband, Friends for Keeps, It's a 
Jungle at Home, and First Impressions. [The One Year Bible Live Verse 
Devotional re vv. 2-5] 

Wrapped In The Word
   The year 2004 was a tough one. I had been diagnosed with 
breast cancer. Following surgery I would undergo six months of 
chemotherapy and then radiation. Gina, a fellow columnist at my local 
newspaper, e-mailed me one day and asked me to give her my seven favorite 
Scripture verses. It was difficult to eliminate some to get down to only 
seven, but I did it. I began with Psalm 103:2 (one that my mother used 
to quote around the house when I was little), then added Jeremiah 
29:11; 2 Timothy 1:7; Joshua 1:5-6; Psalm 119:105; Judges 5:3; and 
Psalm 37:4.  
   Two months later I received a package from Gina. It was a 
beautiful Scripture quilt. In seven panels she had handwritten my favorite 
verses, all surrounded by beautiful quilting. An enclosed note said for 
me to wrap myself in it when I was most in need of comfort and be 
covered by the Word. Believe me, I did, and it worked.  
   Pamela Fortner is a writer, columnist, and book reviewer for 
Women's Touch, an online magazine published by the Assemblies of God 
USA. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional re v. 2] 

How Did We Get Here?
   Sitting backstage at an NBC studio preparing to talk about 
our best-selling book, Bill and I wondered, How did we get here? I 
was the daughter of an alcoholic dad with an explosive rage issue, 
and Bill was the son of a mom who struggled with severe 
mental-health issues.  
   We were both first-generation Christians. My mom's best 
friend, Kathy, invited my family to church, and at nine I compared 
Kathy's home, full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness-the fruit of 
the Spirit-to the one I was living in (see Galatians 5:22-23). I sat 
on my bed and prayed, "Jesus, the pastor told me you are more 
powerful than anything, so come into my life. I don't want to grow up and 
have a home full of fear. I want a home full of love. And P.S., God: 
Can I marry a pastor?"  
   As a teen, Bill was "scared into life" through-of all 
things!-the movie The Exorcist.  
   Statistically, we should have repeated the same destructive 
patterns we grew up with, but fortunately, we don't live by statistics; 
we live by the Spirit of God! Waiting to go "on the air," Bill and 
I bowed our heads and thanked God for hearing the desperate 
prayers of two messed-up kids years ago. He redeemed our lives from the 
pit, crowned us with loving-kindness, and renewed our youth.  
   Bill and Pam Farrel, international speakers and relationship 
specialists, are the authors of numerous books, including Men Are like 
Waffles, Women Are like Spaghetti; The 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can 
Make; and Red-Hot Monogamy. Bill is a pastor at Shadow Mountain 
Community Church with Dr. David Jeremiah. [The One Year Bible Live Verse 
Devotional re vv. 2-5] 


   Just as God renews the face of the earth and brings it new 
life and beauty (Ps. 104:30), so He can renew your life if you will 
let Him. It begins with a renewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2) as you permit 
the Spirit to teach you God's Word (Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10). Wait 
before the Lord in worship, and He will renew strength (Isa. 40:31). 
When you walk by faith, you have a constant experience of renewal in 
spite of the changes of life (2 Cor. 4:16-18). There is always 
something new to enjoy when you "walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). 
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Psa. 103] 

One of the best ways to remain true to the Lord is to remind 
yourself of all He has done for you (Ps. 103). [Chapter by Chapter Bible 
Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re 2 Kings 17] 


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