Read: Psalm 103:4; Psalm 9:13; Psalm 68:20; Daniel 6:20 – 22; Romans 6:23
The first part of Psalm 103:4 reminds us if another benefit from God: “Who redeems your life from destruction” (Psalm 9:13; Psalm 68:20). God redeems our life from destruction in two ways: First, He provides “escapes from death” (Psalm 68:20, Daniel 6:20 – 22) until such time as our work on earth is done, and we have the privilege of dying for Christ. Second, He saves us from the wages of sin – spiritual death, which is separation from God – through the gift of eternal life.
Think About It: How have I experienced “escapes from death” as a benefit from God? How does one receive the gift of eternal life from God?
Prayer: Praise God for “escapes from death,” especially for providing the way for me to escape from eternal destruction.
Read: Psalm 103:4; Ephesians 2:1 – 10
The second part of Psalm 103:4 presents a very comforting benefit from God: “Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” The word translated “lovingkindness” is chesed, alternatively translated “mercy,” “steadfast love,” “compassion,” and “goodness.” The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew scripture, translates chesed into eleos, “mercy,” and the Latin translation is misericordia, also meaning mercy, or compassion. The Hebrew word translated “tender mercies” is racham, meaning to love deeply, to have compassion, to have tender affection. To be “crowned” is symbolic in the Old Testament of recognition and reward.
Think About It: Read Ephesians 2:1 – 10. What was my natural condition, apart from Christ? What is my standing before God now, in Christ? How have I experienced God’s lovingkindness and tender mercies?
Prayer: Praise God for His lovingkindness and tender mercy.
Read: Psalm 103:5; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 81:10; John 6:53 – 56
Another benefit from God is found in Psalm 103:5: “Who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” The Aberdeen Bestiary, a medieval commentary, says of this verse, “It is usually said of the eagle that, when it suffers from old age, its beak grows hooked so that it cannot eat but grows weak from under-nourishment. When it comes upon a rock, it sharpens its beak, and taking food once more, regains its youth. The rock is Christ, the eagle, a righteous man.” The imagery of the renewed eagle is also used in Isaiah 40:31. These two passages are not ornithology; they use the eagle and its mythical renewal as a literary device. In Psalm 81:10 the Lord says “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” We are to partake of Christ and so be strengthened in this life unto eternal life.
Think About It: How does one go about partaking of Christ? How have I experienced renewal and refreshment in my life through my walk with Christ?
Prayer: Thank God for the perpetual renewal that is mine in Christ.
Read: Psalm 103:6; Job 19:25 – 27; Deuteronomy 24:19 – 21; Proverbs 16:4
Another benefit from God is found in Psalm 103:6: “The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.” God sees the oppression of His beloved children and provide justices for them.
Think About It: How would I answer someone who doubts God or accuses Him of injustice, based on the existence of injustice in the world? What is my personal responsibility toward the powerless and oppressed?
Prayer: For God to vindicate the powerless and oppressed.
Read: Psalm 103:7; Psalm 19:1, 7; Romans 1:16 – 17; John 14:9
The benefit from God alluded to in Psalm 103:7 is the blessing of revelation: “He has made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.”
Think About It: According to the Scripture passages for today, what are some of the ways that God has revealed Himself ? What do I know about God, and how do I know what I know about Him? How have I experienced God’s revelation of Himself?
Prayer: Praise God that He has revealed Himself through Christ.
Read: Psalm 103:8, 9, 17; Exodus 34:6; Hebrews 12:5 – 13; Psalm 30:5
Another benefit from God is found in Psalm 103:8, 9, 17: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger . . .He will not keep His anger forever.” These verses repeat the benefit of God’s mercy, but add this blessing: He deals with us very patiently and with great kindness.
Think About It: What is the purpose of the Lord’s discipline? Is discipline ever pleasant? What results from God’s discipline?
Prayer: Thank God that “joy comes in the morning.”
Read: Psalm 103:19; Revelation 11:15, 19:6; Exodus 15:18; Psalm 146:10
The benefit proclaimed in Psalm 103:19 is God’s sovereignty. This is one of the eternal attributes of God for which the saints and angels praise Him in heaven.
Think About It: Why is the sovereignty of God a “benefit” for which I am called to bless God? Why is the doctrine of God’s sovereignty so important? Do I recognize God’s sovereignty in my life?
Prayer: Praise God for His Sovereignty; praise Jesus that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.