Psalm 103 is a psalm of comfort for the one who feels ashamed and discouraged over sins and needs reassurance that God forgives and loves His children in spite of their actions. It is for the one who needs encouragement, healing, and hope. This psalm answers the question “Does God still care about me?” And the answer is a resounding yes!
David, who wrote this psalm, was called “a man after God’s own heart.” He was called that because he had, from his youth, developed an intimate and trusting relationship with the Lord. He walked with Him and talked with Him — always. Even so, because David was human, he sinned. Adultery and murder were among those sins. But David knew how to come back to God when he had gotten off track. David knew the way back because he knew God. His years of living intimately with the Father taught David who God truly was. He knew that God hated sin, but loved him with an everlasting, unfailing love. He knew God would always forgive him and always welcome him back when he came with a contrite heart. What David had in relationship, we can also have.
Notice that David begins and ends with praise for God. Scripture says that God inhabits our praise. David wants to be heard, he wants the presence of God, and he adores his Maker with words of exaltation. His intention is to establish a right position between Creator and created. After David has entered God’s presence with words of exaltation, he continues to pay tribute to God by explaining all he finds in Him. This is a defining poem about a God of love and David’s confidence in Him.
May this psalm provide comfort to the one seeking it, for whatever reason. We can claim it as our blessing from the One who knew everything we would do before we did it and still sent His Son to die for us to save us from those things we could not save ourselves. Before we were born, God knew the obstacles we would face and the pain we would go through, and He gave us the promise that He would never leave us to go through it alone. Declare this psalm to your weary mind, body, and spirit and be infused with His love and the peace that follows.
Psalm 103 (NIV)
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children– 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Father, there is no one’s forgiveness we need more than Yours. We may hide our sins from other people, but we can never hide them from You. There is no one that can encourage us like You. A word from You, O God, is precious beyond measure. We come with praises and thanksgiving for a love like Yours! We hide ourselves in the shadow of Your wing, where we are comforted and restored. No matter how hard life gets, there is always healing in Your presence. There, you renew our hope and give us new vision. We bless Your holy name, most high God!