Out of today’s set psalms, Psalm 103 is a one of these scriptures that is timeless. It is about forgiveness.
King David – the greatest Israelite King, mightily blessed by God, was also very human. His affair with Bathsheba is a classic story of a man losing focus, and “taking his eye of the ball”. While his armies go out to fight, he stays in his palace. What was he thinking? He becomes distracted… Abuse of power is part of it. Rembrandt’s painting of Bathsheba (https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/bathsheba-her-bath) captures her anguish and vulnerability. After Nathan’s classic intervention (2 Samuel 12) David comes to his senses. He writes Psalm 51 – another classic scripture used by many today for repentance.
So, today’s psalm we can assume is written later. The timelessness is simply this. That we can read this psalm reflectively, and add “I pray this in Jesus name” at the end. We can then know forgiveness as David did. Amazing grace!
So – are you, and I, sitting prayerfully. Let’s begin…
Psalm 103: Of David.
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.
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.
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.