Questions for Littles: What or whom is the Psalmist commanding to bless the Lord (v1)? With how much of what is within him is he to obey this command? How many times does he give himself this command (v2a)? What is he not to forget (v2b)? What is the first benefit not to forgive (v3a)? What is the second (3b)? The third (4a)? The fourth (4b)? What is one of the tender mercies of God (5a)? What effect does it have (5b)?This week’s Call to Worship, Invocation, and Confession of Sin came from Psalm 103:1-5.
In this passage, the Psalmist teaches and models for us proper self-talk, as he does elsewhere in the psalter (cf. Ps 42-43). And one of the most important things to tell ourselves is to remember to give praise and thanks to God with our whole being!
Of course, God is worthy of all praise, just because He is God. But that is not the only reason that He has given to us for praising Him. He does much to us and for us that is useful to our souls in stirring up praise unto Him.
The first and greatest benefit of God is the forgiveness of all of our sins. What use could anything else be without forgiveness?
But this is followed immediately by His healing all of our diseases, all of our sicknesses. We are, after all, both body and soul. And the Lord takes complete care of both. Just as many of our sins as He has forgiven, so also that many of our diseases He heals.
Those who promise the “health and wealth” gospel do not promise too much. They promise too little. They promise something that will again be taken away when the time comes for us to die. That is so much smaller than the disease-healing that is actually promised in the gospel.
Every believer in Jesus Christ must necessarily be resurrected in order to enjoy and praise the Lord, both body and soul, forever and ever. There is not a single disease or sickness in that comes into the life of a believer except that it is the Lord’s plan that it end not in death but in resurrection!
Truly, then, does v4 say, “who redeems your life from destruction.” This is both destruction in the ultimate sense (the Lord has redeemed us from death and Hell), and also in a current and ongoing sense. The Lord grants unto us to live in love and service to Him, and He is pleased to make us agents not of destruction but of blessing to others around us and even to the glory of His Name.
Every day, God pours out upon us His lovingkindness (covenant love) and tender mercies. Indeed, every meal that we eat, and every time we feel physically refreshed, it is one more installment of those love-gifts that stream continuously from that same love by which we are forgiven and shall at last be resurrected.
Let us learn to remember ALL of His benefits, so that we will continuously rest in and rejoice over His covenant love to us… so that we will bless His holy Name with our whole soul!
What opportunities do you have to remember the Lord’s benefits and bless His Name?Suggested songs: ARP103A “O, Bless the Lord, My Soul” or HB8 “Bless, O My Soul, the Living God”