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Psalm 103

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

Of David.

1

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name.

2

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and do not forget all his benefits—

3

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

4

who redeems your life from the Pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5

who satisfies you with good as long as you live

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

6

The Lord works vindication

and justice for all who are oppressed.

7

He made known his ways to Moses,

his acts to the people of Israel.

8

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9

He will not always accuse,

nor will he keep his anger forever.

10

He does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12

as far as the east is from the west,

so far he removes our transgressions from us.

13

As a father has compassion for his children,

so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

14

For he knows how we were made;

he remembers that we are dust.

 

15

As for mortals, their days are like grass;

they flourish like a flower of the field;

16

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

17

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children,

18

to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.

 

19

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all.

20

Bless the Lord, O you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his bidding,

obedient to his spoken word.

21

Bless the Lord, all his hosts,

his ministers that do his will.

22

Bless the Lord, all his works,

in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.


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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.




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