A Bold Reminder: Chapter 103
At first, I thought it funny that, after the past few days I’ve had, I would come to this particular Psalm. Except, it’s NOT funny. I wouldn’t even say it’s coincidental. Because if there’s one thing I’ve come to learn, it is that God’s timing is perfect, even when we feel at an utter loss.
Just look at how the 103rd Psalm opens up! Psalm 103:2 reminds us: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
I’m going to write that on a card and stick it up in every place I’ll see it throughout the day! Because it’s just too easy to forget! Of course, you think you’ll always remember. When your mind and heart and emotions and spirit are elevated, you can’t imagine ever forgetting the goodness of God.
But we are FLESH and as you move down to the 15th and 16th verses here, you’ll find that our days, as a human are “as grass.” One day we flourish, and the next, the wind passes over, and we are gone. Even the PLACE will be no more.
Sobering Ideas and Must-Have’s
Going back to that second verse, the Psalmist is telling his soul to bless the Lord, and not to forget His benefits. As I looked a little deeper, I saw the truth of the struggle I’ve recently gone through.
What is our “soul”? It is the place where our “mind, will, and emotions” live, simply stated. Our soul can experience the elation that comes with a great worship service or Godly, Truthful preaching. It can verify the emotion that comes with reading and understanding the Word.
But it’s also that place where fleshly feelings can drag us down like nothing else can. Our “soul” cannot be trusted any further, in my opinion, than the flesh it represents. It is the seat of anger, self-pity, loathing, offense, depression, anxiety, or even the excitement that comes with “thinking we’ve got it all figured out.”
Praise the Name of Jesus, He has cast our sin as far as the East from the West, so verse 12 says. But sin is an eternal, spiritual condition (prior to salvation), while our “soul” acts like a rudder, steering our ship at a moment’s notice.
Forget Not His Benefits
We should never forget His benefits. I was reminded of this as I had some waves come crashing over me these past few days. Things I absolutely had no control over, but that had complete and utter control over ME. Or rather, over my soul. Things I have prayed about and claimed promises for, for a long time.
Of course, it is the enemy’s most crucial plan to just get us into a place of complete soulishness… and that is where I found myself. And yet, here, we are to never forget His benefits:
- He forgives all our iniquities.
- He heals all our diseases.
- He redeems our life from destruction
- He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
- He satisfies our mouth with good things.
- Our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
- He executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed.
- He is merciful and gracious.
- He is slow to anger.
- He has plenty of mercy.
- He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin.
- He doesn’t reward us according to our iniquity.
- He has cast our sins as far as the East is from the West.
- He pities us like a father pities his children.
- He KNOWS that we are nothing but dust.
And those are just the benefits found in this small section of this particular Psalm. There are so many others throughout the Word, like Acts 2:39, that says the promise of salvation is to US and to our children, and to all that are afar off. We can stand, even for our children! It’s a promise!
A Great Promise Indeed
I love Psalm 103:17-18, because it tells us clearly about God’s everlasting mercy…
“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
Bless the Lord. Bless Him. And remind your soul, if you have to, to NEVER forget His benefits!
Praise Ye the Lord: Chapter 104
The 104th Psalm ends the very same way the 103rd Psalm begins: “…Bless thou the Lord, O my soul, Praise ye the Lord.”
The first few verses of the Psalm express the immense greatness of God. That he is clothed with honor and majesty and light. That He stretches out the heavens like a curtain and lays the beams of his chambers like the water. He laid the foundations of the earth so that they will never be removed, even by another flood.
About mid-way through, the Psalmist begins speaking about the very Creation for which the waters run and live in, and how the beasts of the field are fed and cared for, even from daylight until dark. And then in Psalm 104:29-30, he says, of the Lord, “Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”
God’s Great Glory
It’s easy, throughout our lives, to come to a place where we things aren’t going the way WE feel they should be, that things are “off” in a more general sense as well. As if things revolved around us, or our well-being.
While it’s true, as we’ve already seen, that God is merciful and gracious and casts our sin too far away to be remembered, it is also true that He is great and mighty, and all glory and honor on, in, above, and below this earth, belong to Him.
Sing praises unto the Lord. Bless Him and don’t forget His benefits. Meditate on Him and be glad. For truly, His power, creativity, and compassion are far beyond our own human comprehension, but that does not negate the fact that His Glory is unending.
Has there ever been a time when you just “forgot” the goodness of God? I know I have! Especially when it comes to my children. When I pray and cover them and stand on promises for their mental clarity and wellness, and then something crazy happens, I often find myself asking, “But God, why??” In truth, I may never get the answer. You may never get your answer. But that still does not negate the fact that He is absolutely and unequivocally WORTHY of ALL our praise, glory, and honor.
Lord Jesus, I come before you today with a completely humble heart, blessing Your Name, and remembering Your benefits. Father, open my eyes to all that seems so confusing to me, and guide me through the hard times with a clearer and more respectful vision of your mercy, which is unending. But most of all, help me to understand even when my soul forgets. Because You are most worthy of great glory and honor in all the earth, which You did create. I ask it all in Jesus’ mighty Name, Amen.