I have been stuck in Psalm 103 for almost a month.
The longer I read it, the more amazing the treasures I find in this one short psalm. Another unexpected joy is that my stubborn brain has memorised it just by reading it over and over!
David encourages his soul and his inmost being to praise the Lord by remembering all His benefits. He enumerates many things which are the benefits he enjoyed in his fellowship with God. The most obvious one is his experience of sins forgiven. Perhaps he wrote this psalm after his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and expresses the relief and gratitude he must have felt when he was forgiven.
But what about us? What are the benefits we enjoy which should call from us an unending song of praise to God?
I thought about God’s grace. We speak about unmerited favour but what about this definition of grace – God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves? We are saved by grace. We could never have done enough to save ourselves from the penalty of our sin but, through Jesus, God did it for us and now, like David, we can say, “Who forgives all your sins…”
David must have experienced something of God’s fatherly love and compassion. As I read the psalm, I can almost feel the tender embrace of a Father who knows we are frail, human and transient, like the grass which comes and goes in a day. David had only faint inklings of the Father whom Jesus came to reveal fully by living a human life as a mirror image of God. To the plaintive request of a non-comprehending disciple, Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
David did not know Jesus. He did not know that He is the way to the Father. In answer to Thomas’ request, “How can we know the way?” Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.”
It grieves me that so much of current gospel preaching ignores God’s heart for His people. The story of the prodigal son puts it in a nutshell. God wants us to come back into fellowship with Him and to enjoy His love for us as our Father. It’s great to have our sins forgiven but it doesn’t stop there. God wants us home with Him, now and forever.
Many of us live as orphans. We are fatherless – not having either an earthly or a heavenly Father. Jesus says, “Let me take you to the Father.”
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!