Psalm 103 is a humbling and sobering reminder of what God has done for us for no merit of our own. We are urged to not forget all his benefits and to bless Him. What are these benefits and what good are they to us? He
- forgives all our iniquity
- heals diseases
- redeems our lives from Hell
- crowns us with love and mercy
- satisfies us with good
- continually renews our joy and spirit
- is merciful and gracious
- is slow to anger
- is abounding in steadfast love
- does not deal with us according to our sins or repay us according to our iniquities
- removes our sin far from us
- shows compassion
Why should we care about these benefits in our world of materialism and self sufficiency? because these benefits are provided for our eternal souls. All of our material blessings will disappear or be destroyed sooner than we may realize. We can take nothing with us out of this world into eternity except God’s word in our hearts and other people. This life we live on earth is extremely short compared with eternity and we too often place too great a priority on the things and ideals of this world. We do indeed live in a temporary world with souls that will live forever. We would do well to order our lives with that end in mind.
But this Psalm makes it clear that these benefits are only made sure to those who fear God, for those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. This does not mean we are simply to be afraid of Him, but to have an awesome appreciation of who God is, what He is capable of, who we are in relation to our almighty creator, and what the consequences are for us apart from His mercy and saving grace. While none of us can fully comprehend God, his word gives us a glimpse at His greatness and awesome majesty.
This leaves us in a very difficult position because none of us truly fear God of our own accord the way we should, none of us can obey all of His commandments all the time and all of us are completely at His mercy and subject to His will. But thanks be to God for providing the means, through Jesus, for our lives to be redeemed for eternity. We all, however, must individually choose to accept this gift of salvation and submit to Christ as savior and Lord.
19 ¶ The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!