October 18 2023
Today, Wednesday October 18
David’s Hallelujah Chorus
A Psalm of David.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
We might rightly call Psalm 103 David’s Hallelujah Chorus! This is a beautiful psalm that raises great praise to the LORD. I’m amazed how the LORD providentially connects things in our lives to remind us of His love and care for us. Early this morning I woke up to the news that a dear friend, Dawn Ives, went to be with the LORD. I’m convinced that just after her last earthly breath, her next one was celestial, because for the believer, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!”
Yesterday morning, I also received the news that another very special and dear friend, Doris McGuinn, Dottie Frazier’s mother, also went to be with the Lord. Doris would have been 100 years old on her next birthday in January. Both these dear ladies were well prepared for this special day in their life as they stepped through the door of death without fear. (Psalm 23:4). Over the next few days, I will have the honor and privilege of participating in both of their homegoing and celebration of life services. And I’ll reserve my words to honor both of their Godly lives at that time.
But I couldn’t help but think as I read these first verses of Psalm 103, that both of my dear friends might have entered heaven with this song of praise on their lips. “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!” How wonderful it is that the LORD providentially has it, that Psalm 103 will be our focus in the Psalms over these next few days!
Remember that the Book of Psalms is divided into five books. It is interesting to note that each of the four psalms (Psalms 103-106) that close Book Four (Psalms 90-106) of the book of Psalms, emphasize praise to the Lord for several reasons:
Psalm 103 emphasizes praise for the LORD’s benefits to His people.
Psalm 104 emphasizes praise for the LORD’s care of His creation.
Psalm 105 emphasizes praise for the LORD’s wonderful acts on behalf of His people Israel.
Psalm 106 emphasizes praise for the LORD’s long suffering with His people’s rebellion.
In Psalm 103, there are no cries for help or requests. It is purely a song of praise to the Lord. In studying this psalm, we must remember that God's blessings on Israel depended on their obedience to His covenant (vv. 17-18). In the same way, as believers today, we must also be obedient to God's will if we would enjoy God's best (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). The psalm also admonishes us not to forget the blessings after we have received them and enjoyed them. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thess. 5:18). David begins this psalm with individual and personal praise (vv. 1-6), then moves to national praise (vv. 6-19), and concludes with universal praise (vv. 20-22).
I will finish with what Spurgeon said about this great psalm of praise. “Our attempt at exposition is commenced under an impressive sense of the utter impossibility of doing justice to so sublime a composition; we call upon our soul and all that is within us to aid in the pleasurable task; but, alas, our soul is finite, and our all of mental faculty far too little for the enterprise. There is too much in the Psalm, for a thousand pens to write, it is one of those all-comprehending Scriptures which is a Bible in itself, and it might alone almost suffice for the hymn-book of the church.”