World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
103. Psalm 103
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
18To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
22Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.
19. Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens David having recounted the benefits by which God lays each of us in particular, and also the whole Church, under obligation to him, now extols in general his infinite glory. The amount is, that whenever God is mentioned, men should learn to ascend in their contemplations above the whole world, because his majesty transcends the heavens; and they should farther learn not to measure his power by that of man, since it has under its control all kingdoms and dominions. That none may think that earthly creatures only are here put in subjection to God, the Psalmist chiefly addresses the angels. In calling upon them to join in praising God, he teaches both himself and all the godly, that there is not a better nor a more desirable exercise than to praise God, since there is not a more excellent service in which even the angels are employed. The angels are doubtless too willing and prompt in the discharge of this duty, to stand in need of incitement from us. With what face then, it may be said, can we, whose slothfulness is so great, take it upon us to exhort them? But although these exalted beings run swiftly before us, and we with difficulty come lagging after them, yet David enjoins them to sing God’s praises for our sake, that by their example he may awaken us from our drowsiness. The object he has in view, as I have adverted to before, is to be noted, which is, by addressing his discourse to the angels to teach us, that the highest end which they propose to themselves is to advance the divine glory. Accordingly, while in one sentence he clothes them with strength, in the immediately following, he describes them as hanging on God’s word, waiting for his orders, — Ye who do his commandment However great the power, as if he had said, with which you are endued, you reckon nothing more honorable than to obey God. And it is not only said that they execute God’s commandments, but to express more distinctly the promptitude of their obedience, it is asserted, that they are always ready to perform whatever he commands them.