There is hardly any place in Scripture that conveys such passion and exuberance for God as Psalm 103!
Psalm 103 is exceedingly regular in its structure and composition; beautiful in its language and conceptions; adapted to all times and ages; suited to express the feelings of gratitude to God for deliverance from trouble, and for the manifestation of his mercy; suited to elevate the soul, and to fill it with cheerful views.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
God says that He has separated my sins from me as far as the east is from the west. God gives us a beautiful illustration of his long lasting forgiveness in this verse. One day I was sitting at my desk contemplating these verses. I wondered why God said that He had separated our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. I know that He was careful to choose words that paint a clear picture for us, so I wondered why He chose that direction instead of saying that our separation from sin is as far as the north is from the south.
As I thought about that I realized that I could begin traveling from my office and drive south to the South Pole, then begin driving north till I reached the North Pole, then travel south again to my starting point. However, I could also travel around the world millions of time going east, reaching my starting point over and over without ever driving in any direction but east. It hit me like a lightening bolt. Though there is a South Pole and a North Pole, there is no East Pole and no West Pole.
There is no place at which east meets west. And suddenly that verse took on a whole new meaning for me. If God had chosen the words “north from south” then that would mean that there would be some eventual point at which I would meet up with my sins again. But by carefully choosing the words “east from west” God was showing me that there will never be a point in the future where I will meet my sins again.
I won’t face my sins again; not in this life and not in the life to come. After fully realizing that fact through an understanding of this verse, everything began to make sense. God’s forgiveness is truly forever. And He cared enough about my sense of security that He painted a picture in His creation that will forever assure me of that fact.
–Tim and Debbie Childers
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael
Psalm 103:14 — He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.
Job 23:10 — He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Perhaps those words, He knoweth, are meant for you today because God has allowed you some special trial of faith. The love of God is very brave. He does not hold trial off lest we should be overwhelmed. He lets it come and then gloriously strengthens us to meet it. And at the end, I shall come forth as gold.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children —
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
I do believe this is my most favorite hymn! It is based on Psalm 103.
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation”
Text: Joachim Neander, 1680
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Matt Redman has another song based on Psalm 103 — HERE is “Ten Thousand Reasons.”