Psalm 103

God is the fountain of all good,
whatever may be the channel and to His holy name we should concentrate our praise.
He has crowned us with loving kindness and tender mercies;
He has removed our transgressions far from us,
therefore blessing His name should be the alpha and omega of all our service.

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the LORD, 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 destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he 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 shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting 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 commandments to do them.

19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Psalm 103:1-12 – ​The Lord’s Abundant Mercies

   David’s name heads this peerless psalm, which expresses, as none other, the soul of the universal Church and of the individual Christian. Notice the present tenses throughout these verses. God’s tender dealings run parallel with our lives. He is never weary nor exhausted. When once He begins, He keeps on. Let us enumerate the blessings that He gives in such unbroken abundance, and as the fingers tell the successive beads, praise Him: forgiveness; healing, Exodus 15:26; redemption from perils and accidents, seen and unseen; the crowns that He places on our unworthy heads; entire satisfaction, Psalm 36:8; Isaiah 58:11; perennial youth.
   It was a proverb among Orientals that the eagle literally grows younger. This is the psalmist’s reference inPsalm 103:5. For us it means that the life which is fed from the eternal springs is eagle-like in royal strength and sunward flight. Ways or plans are revealed to the inner circle; the ordinary congregation knows only acts. The Father does chide, but only till we put sin away. Conceive the infinite spaces of East and West—such is the distance of forgiven sin from us. It is impossible that the blame or curse of it should ever return upon the redeemed soul. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 103:13-22 – ​Everlasting Loving-Kindness

   The psalmist comes from the far-reaching sky to the homely image of a father’s pity. God is a great King, the mighty Creator, but the Spirit witnesses that we are His children and teaches us to say, Abba, Father. The idea of dust is that of frailty. Made of dust and fragile as an earthen vessel, man by his weakness appeals to Jehovah’s compassion. The thought of frailty and helplessness is still further impressed by the figure of the fading flower, scorched by the hot desert wind. But, by force of contrast, the psalmist passes from man’s brief span of life to God’s eternal years. And God’s love is as His life. Because God is eternal, His love is eternal. When once He loves, He loves always; He never wearies, never cools, and never lets go. A parent who fears God may leave a legacy of priceless worth to his children’s children. See Psalm 103:17.
   From Psalm 103:19 to the end, the psalmist pulls out all the stops in the great organ of existence. Angels and hosts of other intelligent beings who perform the Lord’s will, all his works animate and inanimate, all saints, all souls, stars and suns, oceans, and mountains–all must join the “Hallelujah Chorus.” —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 103:17—But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting.

​   Note the contrast. Man’s frailty against the everlastingness of God’s mercy. We are frail as the flower of the field. Each generation of man comes forth like the grass and flowers, which clothe the meadows in spring only to meet the remorseless scythe. But frail as is our physical life, our resolutions and intentions are still more so. One day our soul is covered by the laughing beauty of hope, and faith, and love, kindly thoughts, heavenly aspirations, gracious deeds—the nest the whole crop lies smitten and withered.
   But God’s love does not alter with our altering, or change with our changes. Does the mother’s love fluctuate with the moods of her sick babe? God loves constantly, with an ardent, intense affection, which delivers from dross the heart that is yielded to Him, and secures at last its transformation into his own likeness. If you will let Him, God will yet love you right. Love will make even your tough nature a miracle of beauty. But the friction of the lapidary’s wheel and the diamond dust may hurt you a little. Never mind, love is behind it all. There never was a time when He did not love you—his mercy is from everlasting; nor a time when He will love you less—it is to everlasting.
   When at last you have found your centre in God’s love, a joy will arise within you, which will pour itself forth in blessing, and you will find yourself but one chorister among myriads in heaven and earth. It will appear to you as though angels and hosts in heaven, together with the saints of all the dispensations on earth, compose one vast choir. But none has any right to presume on this mercy, unless the condition of godly fear has been fulfilled. —Our Daily Homily