Psalm 103:1-22

Bless the Lord, O My Soul – of David

In this Psalm, the Psalmist carries on a public dialogue with himself. He encourages himself to praise and by doing so, encourages others who see his example.  May each of us praise the Lord as this Psalmist does – and be reminded of our Lord’s unfailing goodness.

As I prayed over this Psalm and what to share, God reminded me of the many attributes this Psalm declares about Him and this is what I have decided to share.  May we all be encouraged by our Great God.

Vs 1:  He is Holy – His NAME is Holy.  Our God is high and lifted up. He is set apart from His creation. Our English word “holy” is from the same root word as “whole.” God is whole – perfect in goodness and righteousness. No one is like God. Even God’s holy angels tremble in reverent worship before Him. God sets apart His children for Himself and commands us to be holy as He is holy. Being holy makes you whole– what God intended you to be.

Vs 2:  Forget not His benefits.  He is our Provider – God provides for every creature He has made. He feeds the birds and gives us our daily bread. We do not have strength or goodness of our own but God gives it to us generously. He provides a way out of temptation and protects us from evil. God’s greatest gift is His Son. Because He gave us His Son, we can trust Him to give us everything else we need.

Vs 3:  Forgives and Heals.  He is Gracious – Grace is God’s kindness to those who do not deserve it. God is slow to anger and longs to forgive people. God’s grace in salvation reaches out powerfully to sinful people and makes them alive in Christ when they were dead in sin. God shows grace to all people. He gives life, families, sunshine, rain, music, talents, etc., as good gifts even to people who do not love Him.

Vs 4-5:  Redeemer/Savior.  God reaches down and rescues sinners from the penalty of death and hell that our sin deserves. We have no power to save ourselves from sin because we are dead in our sin. God has planned from eternity past to save His children fully from sin – from its penalty, power and presence. He sent His Son to live the perfect life we cannot live and die in our place for our sin. On the cross, Jesus satisfied God’s full wrath against our sin. Therefore, Jesus saves completely from the penalty of sin. God has no punishment left for His children. Jesus saves His children from sin’s power. He gives us new desires and a new ability to fight sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. One day, our Savior will free us from the presence of sin when we see Him face to face.

Vs 6-8:  Righteous, Just, Merciful, Gracious.  God is right in all He does. He always has been right and always will be right. All of His words and actions are right. All of His plans are right. God has no sin and is positively perfect. God never lies. He is fair, just and faithful in all He does. We never need to wonder whether God is right, so we can trust God when we do not understand. We do not always see God’s righteousness in the world today, but He has promised that His righteousness will prevail. Because God is righteous, He expects us to be righteous. Even the best person cannot be perfectly righteous. But God sees His children as clothed with Christ’s righteousness!  God’s justice is perfect. His decisions are always based on His righteous character. God cannot ignore sin because He is holy. It would be unjust to ignore wickedness, rebellion and sin. God is just and does not show favoritism. Every penalty will be fair and right. God does not treat His children as their sins deserve because Jesus suffered the full punishment for our sins. Because God is just, He will never punish His children for the sin for which Jesus paid on the cross.

Vs 9-12:  Just, Gracious, Loving, Merciful.  God, in His mercy, does not give us what our sins deserve. He limits the extent of pain. He restrains evil and holds back sin. He makes His gospel known in places where people have turned their back on Him. God seeks those who are lost, alone, hurting and in need. He forgives and restores those who repent and turn to Him in faith.

Vs 13-14:  Compassionate and Gracious – Immutable.  God does not change. We can count on Him always to be holy, always to be good, always to be faithful, always to love us, always to hate sin. God’s Word is like Him; it does not change. We can count on His promises. Because God never changes, we can trust Him always.

Vs 15-18:  Loving, Eternal, Righteous, Impartial.  God saves people regardless of what they have done or will do. He saves people who have families in church and people who do not. He saves people who are rich and those who are poor. He saves people who are smart and those who are not smart. God always does what is right for every person and in every situation. There is nothing anyone can do to force God’s hand or to put God in their debt. No one will be able to blame God for His judgments.

Vs 19-22:  The Sovereign Lord of Lords and King of Kings!  God controls all things. There is nothing that is outside of God’s wise control, even the exact time and place for each person to live. No one tells God what to do. What God plans, happens. No event, no natural disaster, no person, not even Satan, can stop God’s plans. When God permits evil, we can trust He has planned to use it for His people’s good and His glory. God planned the time for His Son to come to earth the first time, and He has a time for His Son to return. God will accomplish His plan because He alone has power to do it.

This list is not exhaustive.  There are many more attributes of our mighty God in these verses.  What else do you see?

God is LOVE. God has always been love. Before He created the world the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit loved one another. God’s love never fails. God loves the world. He showed His love by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as Savior. When we receive His Son as our Savior, we can love God.  We can know His AMAZING attributes personally.

In Him – Mary Mauderer


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