Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is with me, bless his holy name! Psalm 103:1
The man whom the New Testament describes as a “man after God’s own heart” was fully human. His name: David, the author of 73 of the 150 psalms you will find in your Old Testament. David, the 8th son of Jesse, was the one chosen by God to lead Israel following the failure of Saul to be a Godly leader. The one who faced Goliath—yet stumbled, taking Bathsheba when he had no right to her, and further compounding his wrong by engineering the death of her husband, Uriah the Hittite.
There are some whose profound failures result in depths of understanding that escape most people because they have not only tasted the dregs from the cup of sinful behavior but have experienced the joys of God’s forgiveness and cleansing. Such was this man who wrote so many of the Psalms.
Among my favorites is his psalm identified as Psalm 103. He writes, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Then David enumerates them. He mentions five things that should be remembered—benefits, he calls them.
First David says that God forgives all our sins. I’ve often wondered if David did not remorsefully think of the dark chapter with Bathsheba, one he wrote about in what we call Psalm 51 as he spoke of forgiveness. Whoa, you may be thinking, asking, “Can God forgive anything I have done?” The simple answer is that if you are sincere in asking His forgiveness, he will forgive you just as he did David some 3,000 years ago.
Then David said that God forgives all your diseases. OK, you may be thinking, perhaps that was true in David’s day, but our hospitals are full of people who don’t seem to connect with Him the same way. When a Christian college of nursing in Kenya asked me to write something on a Christian view of healing, I wrote the book WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HEALING that you can find on Amazon as well as our Guidelines’ web site. The fact is, God heals three ways today. In some cases He heals miraculously, something everybody would like—no hospital bills, no hypodermic needles, and no further pain. While God can and, on occasions does this, there’s another way He heals. I call it Integrative Healing—when God chooses to use medical science along with the skillful hands of physicians, along with the propensity of the human body to respond with healing. Be sure of one thing—Satan is a destroyer; God is a healer. Then, on occasion, He calls someone home to heaven—ultimate healing.
David then says God redeems your life from the pit! In his day, pits were prisons, and while we no longer use pits to incarcerate prisoners, there are pits that take us captive—the pit of depression, the pit of financial burden, the pit of suffering. Whatever takes you a prisoner is something from which you can find deliverance.
Then, says David, He crowns you with “steadfast love” and satisfies you with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Time only allows me to ask you to focus on that one phrase, “steadfast love.” Steadfast means His love doesn’t waver. He doesn’t love you merely when you are good and turn His back on you when you go the wrong direction.
Your choice is one of two things: You can bless God or give thanks and praise to Him as He opens His hand of blessing, or you can wander in the darkness of estrangement. It’s time to come home. It’s time to bless the Lord and rejoice.
Resource reading: Psalm 103.