Psalm 103 — The love and mercy of God

This is a psalm of praise for the love and mercy of God.  When David wrote this, we don’t know, but I kind of think it was written after his sin with Bathsheba or perhaps his sin concerning the census.

And having known the forgiveness of God, he sings,

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  (1)

This verse reminds me of what Jesus said.  That those who have been forgiven much, love much.  (Luke 7:47)

Because David had been forgiven much, his love for God was so much greater.  He had seen in his own life the forgiveness of the most awful of sins, the restoration of his health and salvation from death, and the love and compassion had God crowned him with despite all his failings.  (2-4)

He then recalled the words of God to Moses, how God had said of himself,

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  (8)

To that, David added his own words,

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  (9-12)

I love these verses.

He will not always accuse.  Some of us have had fathers or mothers that always found fault with us.  Who never praised us, but only criticized us.  And because of that, we think God is that way.  But God does not always accuse.

And neither does he harbor his anger towards us when we repent.  Some people will tell us that they forgive us, but when we fail again, they remind us of all the other times we have failed them.  But God is not that way.  When he forgives, he forgives completely, and remembers our sins no more.

He has compassion on us because he knows we are weak.  He knows what it is to be human, because he himself became like us.  He understands us because he was tempted as we are, only without sin.  And if we will turn to him and repent, if we will honor him with our lives, David says his love will be with us from everlasting to everlasting (13-17).

Because of all these things, David calls on all in heaven and earth to praise God and he himself joins in concluding,

Praise the Lord, my soul.  (22)

Lord, I again thank you for your love and mercy.  That though I am frail and weak, though I sin, yet you forgive me.  You don’t look at me to accuse me, but you look on me with great love and compassion.  Lord, help me to extend that love and compassion I’ve received to those around me.  In Jesus name, amen.


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
This entry was posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s