He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic (Psalm 103:13 TLB)

1-2 O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!

Reflection: (Psalm 103:1)

David’s praise focused on the good things God was doing for him.

It is easy to complain about life, but David’s list gives us plenty for which to praise God:

  1. He forgives our sins.
  2. He heals our diseases.
  3. He redeems us from death.
  4. He crowns us with love and compassion.
  5. He satisfies our desires.
  6. He gives righteousness and justice

We receive all of these without deserving any of them.

No matter how difficult your life’s journey, you can always count your blessings – past, present, and future.

When you feel as though you have nothing for which to praise God, read David’s list.

3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.

6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.

Reflection: (Psalm 103:7)

God’s law was given first to Moses and the people of Israel.

God’s law presents a clear picture of God’s character and His will for His people.

It was God’s training manual to prepare His people to serve Him and to follow His ways.

Review the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the history of how they were given, asking God to show you His will and His ways through them.

Reflection: (Psalm 103:12)

East and west can never meet.

This is a symbolic portrait of God’s forgiveness.

When He forgives our sin, He separates it from us completely.

We need never wallow in the past, for God forgives.

We tend to dredge up the ugly past, but God has wiped our record clean.

If we are to follow God, we must model His forgiveness in our dealings with one another. Otherwise we have not truly forgiven.

Reflection: (Psalm 103:13)

Key Verse: God is like a father – tender and compassionate.

But not every child has a tender and compassionate father.

Too often, the cycles of abuse and dysfunction rob children of loving fathers.

If that is your situation, God offers Himself to you to be the Father you never had or perhaps you felt you never needed.

Of course, you can’t go fishing with God or be held physically by Him, but you can receive His love in your heart by means of His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

God can tenderly heal your deep loss.

Reflection: (Psalm 103:13-14)

We are fragile, but God’s care is eternal.

Too often we focus on God as judge, and lawyer, ignoring His compassion and concern for us.

When God examines our lives, He remembers our human condition.

Our weakness should never be used as a justification for sin.

His mercy takes everything into account.

God will deal with you compassionately.

Trust Him.

19-22 God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He’s the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.

And you, O my soul, bless God!

Reflection: (Psalm 103:20-22)

Everything everywhere is to praise the Lord; all His angels and all His works!

Praising God means remembering all He has done for us (Psalm 103:2), fearing Him and obeying His commands (Psalm 103:17-18), and doing His will (Psalm 103:21).

Does your life praise the Lord?