SGA Pic of Christ lesson 63


Lesson 63
Psalm 103

A few things that are worthy of notice at the beginning of our study are:

(a) there is a clear sense of the frailty of this life,
(b) there is a keener awareness of sin, and
(c) there is a high priority placed on mercy and forgiveness.

(Vs. 1) "Bless the Lord, O MY SOUL." This is the highest form of praise. Not just with the lips but my heart, my innermost being, my soul loves and praises the Lord. Blessed is the man who has learned to converse with himself concerning spiritual truth (Psalm 4:4; Psalm 77:6). "ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME, bless His holy name." Let my judgment bless Him by submitting to His word. Let my imagination bless Him by holy meditation. Let my affections bless Him by loving what He loves. Let my desires bless Him by seeking His will. Let my hope bless Him by restful assurance and peace. "Bless HIS HOLY NAME." His name signifies His nature and attributes. I bless and rejoice in Him as He is revealed in HIS WORD written and in HIS WORD incarnate. "Let God be God!" The holiness of God is His chief attribute and glory. The holiness of His name is that which beautifies all that He is and does. He is a just God and a Saviour (Isa. 45:21). He is righteous and merciful (Psalm 85:10; Rom. 3:26).

(Vs. 2) The Psalmist's praise and gratitude has four attributes.

(1) It is PERSONAL — "my soul."
(2) It is SINCERE — "all that is within me."
(3) It is CONSTANT — "forget not."
(4) It is SPECIFIC — "all His benefits." My ALL praise His ALL!

(Vs. 3-5) David begins a list of His benefits.

(Vs. 6) Going from personal blessing to the general righteous justice and judgment ofgod, David declares that all injustice and oppression shall receive just retribution at the hand of God (Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:35).

(Vs. 7) God made known unto Moses HIS WAY of mercy and grace in Christ (John 5:46). He did not leave Moses to discover truth for himself. God alone can reveal Himself (Luke 10:22; I Cor. 2:9-14). The people of Israel saw less than Moses, for they beheld the ACTS of God without understanding or seeing the glory of His grace in Christ.

(Vs. 8-14) In these verses David rejoices in the Lord's feelings for and dealings with His chosen people in Christ. We are sinners and are always in need of His compassion and grace. His MERCY forgives sin, His GRACE bestows favor, His LONGSUFFERING and patience give space for repentance and faith, and His abundant COMPASSION will never fail. Why "hath He not dealt with us after our sin"? Is it not because He has dealt with Christ for our sins and iniquities? (I Peter 3:18; I Peter 2:24). Our minds cannot comprehend His great mercy to us in Christ. It is higher than the heavens. Our sins are covered, blotted out, and removed as far from us as the east is from the west—infinity! They are remembered no more. The guilt of sin can no more return than east can become west. "Such pity and love as a father has to his children dear, like pity shows the Lord to all who worship Him in/fear." Our Lord also knows how and of what we are made, for He made us! He knows our weaknesses, infirmities, and flesh. He knows we are made of dust, are dust still, and will return to dust (Heb. 4:15).

(Vs. 15-18) Men are like the grass and the flower, which live but for a season and are soon gone; but the mercy of the Lord in His covenant of grace in Christ Jesus is everlasting, and His righteousness shall endure forever upon those who believe (Rom. 8:16-23). Forever in glory with Him is our inheritance!

(Vs. 19-22) David closes with a grand chorus which springs from his knowledge of the boundless power and glorious sovereignty of God. His throne is fixed in the heavens; His government is over all and knows no alarm, disorder, nor surprises. He will accomplish His purpose and be glorified. Therefore, let everything that hath breath praise and bless the Lord—especially MY SOUL!

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.