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
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
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
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)
EXAMPLES, ILLUSTRATIONS AND TESTIMONIES
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
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
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]
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
A Better Way to Live: http://www.itiswritten.com/betterway/
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Grace Notes: http://www.e-gracenotes.org/index.php
Excellent Spiritual Resource Site:
More Spiritual Resources: http://www.aBible.com