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Psalm One Hundred and Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Psalm of David.

Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord. The exhortation to “bless the Lord” occurs six times in this psalm (Psalm 103:1, 2, 20, 21, 22). Men or angels can bless the Lord when they praise or thank Him, or—especially—when they worship Him (that is, obey His will). He blesses us with “life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25), and it blesses Him when we “forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 102:2).

Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Psalm 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

healeth. This promise has its primary fulfillment in our resurrection bodies, when all diseases will be cured forever, even the greatest disease, that of aging and dying itself.

Psalm 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Psalm 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

like the eagle's. Instead of being forlorn like “an owl of the desert” or helpless like “a sparrow alone upon the housetop,” as in the previous psalm (Psalm 102:6-7), the trusting believer may “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).

Psalm 103:6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

Psalm 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

Psalm 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Psalm 103:9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

Psalm 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

Psalm 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

heaven is high. The Lord, in picturing His infinite mercy, uses the infinite height of the heavens as the appropriate simile, thus predating the most modern concepts of observational astronomy.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

east is from the west. Here is a second figure applied to the limitless scope of God's forgiving grace. One can travel east (or west) forever without coming to its end. This perfectly fits the idea of a global earth.

Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Psalm 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Psalm 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

days are as grass. Man's body will return to dust eventually (Psalm 103:14), in accordance with the terms of God's Curse (Genesis 3:19). This is another illustration and application of the scientific law of increasing entropy.

Psalm 103:16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

Psalm 103:18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Psalm 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Psalm 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

excel in strength. God's host of angels, innumerable in number (Hebrews 12:22), are mighty angels, well able to accomplish any commandment of His word. They are His “ministers” (Psalm 103:21), which means “servants,” and His “messengers,” which is the basic meaning of the word “angels.”

Psalm 103:21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Psalm 103:22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.