Psalm 103
"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!"

The first five verses of this Psalm are David talking to himself. He is telling his inner man, where he thinks, feels, wills and desires, to bless the LORD. It is another way of saying "Bless the LORD with all my heart, soul and mind." David is challenging himself to reminisce over all the LORD's blessings. He is the One who forgives, heals, redeems, crowns and satisfies. In verse five, David tells himself to remember and bless the LORD for all He does so that he will be renewed. Doesn't verse 5 remind you of Isaiah 40:31, "They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." How do you revive yourself? I was reminded of the song, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done." David is doing precisely that.

If I were writing headers for Scripture, verses 6-16 would be "Grace Alone." In the first five verses, David examines what the LORD has done to deserve David's praise. In the next eleven verses, he discusses why the LORD does what He does. Verse thirteen provides the key to understanding God's grace. As a loving father treats his children, the Father is gracious to His children, those who are in awe of Him. Using Moses and the people of Israel as an example, David says the LORD, even though He knows our actions, responds to the oppressed in righteousness and justice. The LORD does not punish as we deserve but is compassionate, merciful, slow to anger and treats us with unfailing love. We are to remember who He is because He recognizes who we are. He knows we are dust, like grass, or a fading flower that is here for a short while and then is gone.

It appears man comes and goes. Be that as it may, the LORD's steadfast love is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the One who "redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with steadfast love" (verse 4). Three times in the Psalm, David makes the point this gift is to those who fear the LORD. In verse 18, the evidence of this fear and awe are exhibited by keeping His covenant and remembering His commandments. He is the ruler of all. Therefore, He deserves nothing less.

David closes by reminding all of His creation to "Bless the LORD." The angels should bless Him. As LORD of hosts, all who do His will should bless Him. Since He has dominion over everything, all creation should bless Him. Lastly, David reminds himself and us, we should individually bless Him with all our heart, mind and soul.

LORD of Heaven's Armies, Your dominion has no end. You deserve praise from all creation. We look forward to the day You display Your splendor in the heavens, and the earth is full of Your praise. Come, Lord Jesus, come.