God-Soaked World Bible Guide - Day 17 - Reservoir Church
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God-Soaked World Bible Guide – Day 17

March 22, 2017

Wednesday, March 22 – Psalm 103

Of David.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget 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 as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication
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 accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Points of Interest:

  • Today we move from despondence to gratitude. This is connecting with God in perspective taking.
  • The psalms were compiled over centuries and only later were some attributed to specific authors. But for simplicity’s sake, we’ll call this poet David – the famously great king of a united Israel.
  • David compels his inner being to remember good things about God and praise God for them – it’s not entirely intuitive or natural but seems a good thing to do.
  • The repeated note to self here is to bless God. To bless is to speak words that are both good and true – it’s praising, celebrating, and thanking, all rolled into one.
  • So many qualities of God are remembered and appreciated that we won’t list or elucidate them all. Do you have any favorites? I love the promise of redemption, even while on the way to the Pit. God can bring good out of every bad situation, no matter how foreboding. I also love the line about God renewing our youth like the eagles’. This isn’t magical, fountain of youth thinking, but the gift of energy and vigor as needed, whether physical or mental or emotional.
  • This psalm is tied to old covenant spirituality – God’s love reserved for those in God’s tribe who properly respect and obey God and to their descendants. Almost immediately after this statement is a hint of the new covenant spirituality to come, when David proclaims that God’s kingdom extends over all people. Jesus’ new covenant spirituality is an invitation to all the peoples of the earth to know and love God, and be filled with God’s Spirit, enjoying the same God-soaked experience that David did.

 

Prayer for your Six – Pray that your six would practice gratitude today and experience the perspective taking and joy that a life of gratitude shapes.

 

Spiritual Exercise – This week, after each Psalm, we’re practicing a simplified version of the Jesuit examen: examining our own life and thoughts and feelings, and connecting with God over what we find there. Today, examine three to five ways you have experienced the goodness or help of God in your life, whether you recognized it as from God at the time or not. Choose one or more of these experiences to thank God for. When you’re done, ask God if God has anything else to reveal to you, and pause for a moment of silence while you listen.