Psalms 103

Praise for the LORD'S Mercies.

1

A Psalm of David.

1 1Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His 2holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And 3forget none * of His benefits;
3 Who 4pardons all your iniquities, Who 5heals all your diseases;
4 Who 6redeems your life from the pit, Who 7crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who 8satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is 9renewed like the eagle.
6 The LORD 10performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are 11oppressed.
7 He 12made known His ways to Moses, His 13acts to the sons of Israel.
8 The LORD is 14compassionate and gracious, 15Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
9 He 16will not always strive with us, Nor will He 17keep His anger forever.
10 He has 18not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high 19as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He 20removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just 21as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For 22He Himself knows our frame; He 23is mindful that we are but 24dust.
15 As for man, his days are 25like grass; As a 26flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 When the 27wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its 28place acknowledges it no longer.
17 But the 29lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness 30to children's children,
18 To 31those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.
19 The LORD has established His 32throne in the heavens, And His 33sovereignty rules over all.
20 Bless the LORD, you 34His angels, 35Mighty in strength, who 36perform His word, 37Obeying the voice of His word!
21 Bless the LORD, all you 38His hosts, You 39who serve Him, doing His will.
22 Bless the LORD, 40all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!

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Psalms 103 Commentary

Chapter 103

An exhortation to bless God for his mercy. (1-5) And to the church and to all men. (6-14) For the constancy of his mercy. (15-18) For the government of the world. (19-22)

Verses 1-5 By the pardon of sin, that is taken away which kept good things from us, and we are restored to the favor of God, who bestows good things on us. Think of the provocation; it was sin, and yet pardoned: how many the provocations, yet all pardoned! God is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting. The body finds the melancholy consequences of Adam's offence, it is subject to many infirmities, and the soul also. Christ alone forgives all our sins; it is he alone who heals all our infirmities. And the person who finds his sin cured, has a well-grounded assurance that it is forgiven. When God, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from their decays, and fills them with new life and joy, which is to them an earnest of eternal life and joy, they may then be said to return to the days of their youth, ( Job 33:25 ) .

Verses 6-14 Truly God is good to all: he is in a special manner good to Israel. He has revealed himself and his grace to them. By his ways we may understand his precepts, the ways he requires us to walk in; and his promises and purposes. He always has been full of compassion. How unlike are those to God, who take every occasion to chide, and never know when to cease! What would become of us, if God should deal so with us? The Scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge, and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them; pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.

Verses 15-18 How short is man's life, and uncertain! The flower of the garden is commonly more choice, and will last the longer, for being sheltered by the garden-wall, and the gardener's care; but the flower of the field, to which life is here compared, is not only withering in itself, but exposed to the cold blasts, and liable to be cropt and trod on by the beasts of the field. Such is man. God considers this, and pities him; let him consider it himself. God's mercy is better than life, for it will outlive it. His righteousness, the truth of his promise, shall be unto children's children, who tread in the footsteps of their forefathers' piety. Then shall mercy be preserved to them.

Verses 19-22 He who made all, rules all, and both by a word of power. He disposes all persons and things to his own glory. There is a world of holy angels who are ever praising him. Let all his works praise him. Such would have been our constant delight, if we had not been fallen creatures. Such it will in a measure become, if we are born of God. Such it will be for ever in heaven; nor can we be perfectly happy till we can take unwearied pleasure in perfect obedience to the will of our God. And let the feeling of each redeemed heart be, Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Cross References 40

  • 1. Psalms 104:1, 35
  • 2. Psalms 33:21; Psalms 105:3; Psalms 145:21; Ezekiel 36:21; Ezekiel 39:7
  • 3. Deuteronomy 6:12; Deuteronomy 8:11
  • 4. Exodus 34:7; Psalms 86:5; Psalms 130:8; Isaiah 43:25
  • 5. Exodus 15:26; Psalms 30:2; Jeremiah 30:17
  • 6. Psalms 49:15
  • 7. Psalms 5:12
  • 8. Psalms 107:9; Psalms 145:16
  • 9. Isaiah 40:31
  • 10. Psalms 99:4; Psalms 146:7
  • 11. Psalms 12:5
  • 12. Exodus 33:13; Psalms 99:7; Psalms 147:19
  • 13. Psalms 78:11; Psalms 106:22
  • 14. Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalms 86:15; Jonah 4:2; James 5:11
  • 15. Psalms 145:8; Joel 2:13; Nahum 1:3
  • 16. Psalms 30:5; Isaiah 57:16
  • 17. Jeremiah 3:5, 12; Micah 7:18
  • 18. Ezra 9:13; Lamentations 3:22
  • 19. Psalms 36:5; Psalms 57:10
  • 20. 2 Samuel 12:13; Isaiah 38:17; Isaiah 43:25; Zechariah 3:9; Hebrews 9:26
  • 21. Malachi 3:17
  • 22. Isaiah 29:16
  • 23. Psalms 78:39
  • 24. Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:7
  • 25. Psalms 90:5; Isaiah 40:6; 1 Peter 1:24
  • 26. Job 14:2; James 1:10, 11
  • 27. Isaiah 40:7
  • 28. Job 7:10; Job 8:18; Job 20:9
  • 29. Psalms 25:6
  • 30. Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; Psalms 105:8
  • 31. Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalms 25:10
  • 32. Psalms 11:4
  • 33. Psalms 47:2, 8; Daniel 4:17, 25
  • 34. Psalms 148:2
  • 35. Psalms 29:1; Psalms 78:25
  • 36. Matthew 6:10
  • 37. Psalms 91:11; Hebrews 1:14
  • 38. 1 Kings 22:19; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 148:2; Luke 2:13
  • 39. Psalms 104:4
  • 40. Psalms 145:10

Footnotes 9

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 103

\\<>\\. The Targum adds, ``spoken in prophecy,'' as doubtless it was, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Some think it was written by David, after a fit of illness, and his recovery from it, since he speaks of his diseases being healed, and his youth renewed; for which reason the Syriac interpreter suggests it was written in his old age; for he makes the subject of the psalm to be, ``concerning coldness which prevailed upon him in old age;'' but rather he wrote it when his heart was warm with a sense of the love of God, and spiritual blessings of grace flowing from thence; and in it celebrates and sings the benefits of New Testament times; and it is a psalm suitable to be sung by every believer, under a quick sense of divine favours: wherefore the above interpreter better adds, ``also an instruction and thanksgiving by men of God;'' whom the psalmist may very well be thought to personate, even in Gospel times; and much rather than the Jews in captivity, as Kimchi thinks.

Psalms 103 Commentaries