Sunday, August 10, 2008

Psalm 103

I have spent the last few days unpacking this Psalm as part of the retreat I was on. Take a moment and read it.

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,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!

In your reading what strikes you most?
Is it the nature of God, the nature of humanity, covenant, sovereignty, redemption?


jeleasure said...


I have to confess, I have never really been a fan of the psalms. I'm a fact finder. If there were some kind of prophecy in this psalm, I would enjoy looking it over.
What stands out to me is God's nature.
And, here is why I have not been a fan of the Psalms, they announce God's character and the anguish of man. Which is something I am already aware of. So, forgive me.
I just wanted to read your post and comment, as it has been awhile since I have.

Arlene Kasselman said...

Jim, I appreciate the honesty, thanks.
I have loved being in the midst of this one and seeing how it is placed into the collections of Psalms and understanding it in terms of how people felt in relation to the Exile.
Keeping in mind the setting and context and not trying to overcontextualize for today I am drawn into anything that brings me to a place of worship and this one does it for me.

jeleasure said...

Those are good words, Arlene.

I know you are not saying I overcontextualize. I will say that is true of me.

The facination I had in studying The Bible was when I learned of the findings archaeologist were able to connect to Biblical stories. That was it. I was hooked.

Thank you for visiting my blog this evening.

Brian Bowen said...

As I read over it anew just now... It spoke to me of the fathers love for us.

A picture of his love demonstrated through action.

Arlene Kasselman said...

thanks for the comment - yes, I agree. It is also interesting that the Psalmist actually uses the expression, "like the compassion of a Father for his children." That is a compassion that has a sligtly different nuance to the compassion of a Mother. I think it is intentional because the OT is filled with mother love images but this is specifically father oriented.

preacherman said...

I love this Psalm.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
I hope and pray that you have a blessed week!