Let’s turn now to Psalm one hundred and one as we continue our study through the Bible.
Here is a psalm of David in which he describes the perfect king and the perfect kingdom. So he’s not talking about himself but of that one that will come from David who will reign upon the throne of David. It is a psalm really again that looks toward the reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. You surely could not say that this was true of David’s reign though indeed it was probably in the heart of David, it was a part of that desire that we have towards the ideal. I would like to be perfect. I’m not, I’m far from perfect but I’d like to be. David had that desire to be perfect; to be all that God would have him to be. He, with the rest of us, failed. Yet we all have and admire the ideal.
God has put it in our hearts, that desire to be better, to be perfect and thank God, through the work of his spirit, day by day I am being conformed into the image of Christ. The spirit of God is working in me to that end and to that purpose to give me the strength, to give me the power to be what God wants me to be. He’s far from through and I don’t think I’ll live long enough for him to be through but thank God, as the fellow said, “Though I’m not yet what I’m going to be, I’m not what I was”. I’m on the way and I can see that progress of God’s work in my life as day by day he causes me to be more like Jesus Christ.
I WILL sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, (101:1).
These are the things I will sing about.
O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way, (101:1-2).
Yes I would like to do that.
O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart (101:2).
The Bible speaks about those that would rule in the house of God that they should demonstrate first of all the ability to rule in their own homes. For if they cannot rule their own house then how can they rule in the house of God. David speaks about the rule; “I will rule in my own house with a perfect heart”. As I said, David, this could be an expression of his desire but surely it wasn’t a reality of his life.
He did not rule well his own house. He had a great problem as a disciplinarian. As a result of his problem as a disciplinarian he had all kinds of problems with his kids. David’s household was sort of chaotic with sons that were rebelling against him and incestuous relationships within the household. David, as I said, just was not a good disciplinarian at all thus he really did not rule his house well.
Solomon, it is interestingly enough, has a lot to say about discipline in the proverbs. He no doubt saw the lack of it in his father and the results of that lack of discipline. So he talks about the “foolishness of world is bound in the heart of the child but the rod of instruction driveth it far from him”. One of David’s sons that said David never did say a cross word to him, never did correct him and Solomon said, “A son [child] left to himself will bring a reproach to his parents”. So Solomon observing the flaws in his father’s discipline incorporated within the proverbs a lot of exhortations concerning discipline.
David, speaking of his desire, that which is in his heart, expresses with all of us that desire that we have within our heart to be more like the Lord and to be all that God would have us to be though “we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; (101:3).
That is, turning aside from the straight path of God.
it shall not cleave to me (101:3).
Yet we remembered his incident with Bathsheba and with her husband.
A froward heart shall depart from me: (101:4).
That is a perverse heart.
I will not know a wicked person (101:4).
He’s expressing ideals here but not realities in his own life.
Whoso priviliy [privately] slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that has a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer [allow] (101:5).
In the proverbs Solomon picks this up and says these are something that God hates, a proud look.
Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all the wicked doers from the city of the LORD (101:6-8).
As I said, this could be an expression of David’s ideal of his desires but in reality as he speaks of these things he is really describing that righteous rule and reign of Jesus Christ when he comes again. What David says that he would like to do, the kind of government that he would like to form and the kind of rule that he would like to have will indeed be fulfilled when Jesus comes to rule and the reign.
Psalm one hundred and two is entitled the prayer of the afflicted when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the Lord. Some of the commentators have sought to place this psalm at the time of the Babylonian exile. However, other commentators believe that it is in reality a psalm of David. It doesn’t say so, I guess we don’t know. It is similar to some of David’s psalms as he begins the psalm with a plea.
HEAR my prayer O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee (102:1).
“He hand of the Lord is not short neither is his ear heavy that he cannot hear, his hand is not short that he cannot save.” But the prophet said, “Your sins have separated you from God”. The psalmist is calling upon the Lord to hear his prayer.
Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily (102:2).
I think that this is sort of the expression of all of our hearts when we are desperate in prayer and when things are really going bad. As David has said in other prayers “Lord make no tarrying”. Here the psalmist is calling, “answer me speedily (102:2).
Isn’t it interesting how when God is calling upon us we want all kinds of leeway and all kinds of patience on his part? “I’ll get around to it Lord, just give me time”. But when we call on him we want instant answers. When I’m in trouble listen to me, answer me speedily.
He goes on to declare the problems.
For my days are consumed like smoke, (102:3).
He gets into very picturesque kind of speech here. They vanish as smoke.
and my bones are burned as an hearth. My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread (102:3-4).
So desperate that I forget to eat my bread, so overwhelmed by my problems that I have lost my appetite.
By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin (102:5).
Then he picks out three birds.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top (102:6-7).
A pelican in the wilderness, in the are of the Valley of the upper Galilee, there were a lot of pelicans in that wilderness area. Like an owl of the desert or in the deserted places where the owls inhabited the ruins of the deserted places. The sparrow alone on the rooftop.
Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me (102:8).
They are trying to put curses upon him is what the Hebrew would indicate.
For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, (102:9).
Ashes were something that they would put upon them as a sign of great grief and mourning, going through a heavy time of mourning and grief, you would anoint yourself with ashes. The scriptures speak of them repenting in sackcloth and ashes. It was sort of a way of afflicting himself to show tremendous grief. So the grief, the ashes, I eat them with my bread and I mingle my drink with my tears.
Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow that declineth; (102:10-11).
The sundial, as the day begins to die the shadow lengthens. So my days, it seems are like the shadow, it’s declining, it’s going down.
and I am withered like grass (102:11).
Now, here I am in this state of decay, passing away, pining away and yet in contrast.
But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations (102:12).
So the psalmist is going through a heavy trial, going through this great time of persecution calls upon the Lord. He’s aware of his own frailty and his weaknesses and yet as he looks at God he sees that tower of strength of God enduring forever.
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come (102:13).
This is why it is though to be a psalm of the time of Daniel, the time of Babylonian captivity. The psalmist is actually talking about the miserable conditions in Babylon and praying for that day of restoration to the land of Israel that they would be able to go back. However, the psalm actually goes beyond that. It comes to the end of the age because the Lord did not appear in glory when Israel returned from the Babylonian captivity. The Lord will return in glory when Zion is built up, which God is doing at the present time.
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof (102:13-14).
It is always a thrilling thing in traveling to Israel, using the Jewish guides, to hear them talk of Jerusalem. The stones around Jerusalem, the dust, there’s just a love, a great feeling of emotion that they have concerning the land and their being there in the land. The servants do indeed take pleasure in the stones and favour the dust.
So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory (102:15-16).
So we look at Israel today and see the transformation that has taken place in that land in the last fifty years. The transformations that have taken place are nothing short of miraculous. The promises of God are being fulfilled. Ezekiel thirty-six, God promised the mountains of Israel would again be inhabited and they would be covered with trees and the valley’s will be filled with corn and wheat and that has happened in the last fifty years. God promised in Ezekiel thirty-seven that the people would be brought back into the land and they are made a nation again. That has happened in the last fifty years.
We see how, even today, the land continues to produce an abundance of fruit, vegetables, flowers and how that the markets of Europe, especially during the wintertime, are filled with vegetables from Israel. Down in the Jordan Valley you can grow tomatoes year around. So throughout Europe they have tomatoes in the wintertime, peppers and cucumbers grown in Israel. It’s amazing how they have been blessed in the development of the agriculture.
Now at the Ben-Gurion University where they are doing all types of experimentation with plants and they are seeking to develop plants that will thrive and grow in desert areas. They have actually developed a tomato now that can be irrigated with the water of the Mediterranean. It can grow and survive irrigated with salt water from the Mediterranean. The only problem is the tomatoes aren’t salty when you eat them, you still have to salt them. They are irrigated with salt water. They just played around with the genetic code in the tomatoes and have developed this variety.
They are seeking actually to make that whole Negev desert that they still control a great produce developing kind of an area because there is so much area there. They know that the Negevtians had a great and large culture living in the Negev. They are trying to figure out just how they survived there in the desert. They have experimental farms there in the Negev and they are really attached to the land. God has built up Zion and in the process of building up Zion and the promise is when he does that he shall appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer (102:17).
The psalmist is writing these things for the generation to come.
This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD (102:18).
The generation that was there at the time he wrote really did not see or did they know just exactly what the psalmist was referring to. This generation in which we live and in which God is building up Zion, this was written for us so that we would know the coming of the Lord is at the door.
For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; (102:19).
“The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth.”
To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; (102:20).
This is really a reference, I believe, to us. Prisoners, as we were, held by Satan’s power. Paul said, “That we might take them from the captivity of the enemy who has taken them captive against their wills”. “Appointed to death;” (102:20) God in his righteous judgement had passed upon us the sentence of death because of our sins.
To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, (102:20-21).
The name of course is Yashewa, Jesus who is our savior.
and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD (102:21-22).
This is in the kingdom age. This is after the Lord comes in his glory.
He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations (102:23-24).
The psalmist, whoever he was, was going through a hard time physically. He was still rather young in that he is asking the Lord not to cut him off in the midst of his days. They believe that God had given them seventy years and to be cut off before then would be not to have fulfilled your years or your time upon the earth. So the psalmist was weakened, he was afraid that God was going to shorten his days. So he prayed that God would not take him away in the midst of his days and in contrast to my short span here on earth “God endures forever”. This contrast of my limited time and the eternal.
It is wise for me to use what time I have for eternal good. Take advantage of the opportunities that God gives me now to lay up eternal treasures. Jesus said, “Don’t lay up for yourself treasures on earth but rather treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is there will your heart be also”.
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands (102:25).
I consider the heavens the work of thy fingers. The moon and the stars that thou hast ordained.
They shall perish, (102:26).
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away”. Peter describes the dissolving of the universe. His description is quite fascinating there in second Peter. He describes the heavens melting, fervent heat, all of the works being burned up and he describes how this universe will be destroyed.
The scientists, many of them, believe that the universe began with a big bang. They say that all of the matter was compressed together into a small object, smaller than your fist, when the big bang took place. All of these stars and planets were thrust out into the universe. They say that they are still expanding. However, recently, they have discovered some hydrogen gas and they believe that they are observing the formation of another galaxy and if so, it’s throwing all of that big bang theory out of the window. So they are trying to analyze just exactly what is going on.
The theory of the big bang is that once the universe has expanded to its outer limits, once that initial thrust has hit its peak, then the whole thing will start to come together again. So there are what they call the black holes out there in the universe, which they theorize are stars of such intense density that the gravity is so great that they are sucking everything into them. The gravity is so great that even the light cannot escape them, the light is being sucked in by this tremendous gravitational pull. The theory is that these black holes are beginning to suck in stars and ultimately galaxies and everything will be sucked into the black hole. One day the whole vast universe will be decompressed again into this tiny little mass. A huge, impossible to imagine, type of gravity and the pressure will become so great that the whole thing will explode again and that we have been cycling for billions of years.
It is easier to believe that the heavens are the work of his hands. But “they shall perish” (102:26) “Heaven and earth shall pass away” Jesus said, “My words will never pass away”.
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: (102:26).
The word of God shall endure.
yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment: (102:26).
The universe, wax old like a garment, like a vesture to be removed.
as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, (102:26-27).
and thy years shall have no end (102:27).
The eternal God.
The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee (102:28).
The psalmist begins with this prayer, he speaks of his distress and he goes into this interesting prophecy concerning the coming of the Lord as he builds up Zion. Then he muses on the eternal nature of God, the unchanging character of God.
Psalm one hundred and three is one of the favorites. How rich. The word “bless” us a little stronger than “praise”. For it is praising with adoration and thanksgiving. It’s a stronger word than just praise the Lord, it’s praising the Lord with real love and real adoration in your heart towards him.
BLESS the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name (103:1).
The psalmist often speaks to his soul, talks to himself, exhorts himself and encourages himself. It says in Samuel that “David encouraged himself in the Lord”. In the forty-first psalm he said, “Why are you cast down O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God” he was talking to himself. He was talking himself out of this depression and all that he was in. Get your eyes on God, get your eyes off of the problems and issues, get your eyes on the Lord; that’s always the way of encouragement. You look at yourself and that is discouraging, that’s depressing. You look at God and that’s strengthening, that’s encouraging. “Hope thou in the Lord for he shall yet bring it to pass”.
Now he is commanding his soul to just praise the Lord with adoration and thanksgiving. “Everything that is within me,” (103:1) give this kind of praise to the holy name of God, that name YAWEH or Jehovah.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, (103:2).
Repeated for emphasis, usually when the scripture has a repetition the repetition is for emphasis.
and forget not all his benefits: (103:2).
God knows our tendency to forget what he has done for us. I guess that’s just a part of human nature. God has been so good and has delivered us so many times from so many things. The moment some new trial comes along we forget what God has done and we think “Oh this is it. I’ve had it. Now I’m surely going under this time”. We forget so quickly all of the things God has done for us. That is why that God established for the Nation of Israel reminders. Their holidays were reminders of his works.
When the children of Israel came over the Jordan River God stopped the Jordan so they could come across on dry land. Joshua told the leaders of each tribe “Get one of the stones out of the middle of the river. Carry it up on the bank and build a pile of stones there on the bank of the river. In the years to come, as you are journeying down here with your children for a vacation and they say Daddy what’s that big pile of stones? Then you’ll have an opportunity to tell them how God brought their fathers into the land. How he stopped the Jordan River at flood time and brought them across that they could come into this land that he had promised”. The memorials, the remembrances. The Ebenezer stone, set down the stone “Hither to hath the Lord help me”. I’m sure that in all of our lives there are places for a lot of Ebenezer stones. God was faithful. God brought me this stop.
“Forget not all his benefits:” (103:2). That tragedy of our tendency towards forgetfulness of what God has done. Now he begins to speak of the benefits and naturally he speaks first of all of the spiritual benefits. For the spiritual benefits are far more important than the material benefits. As Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians he said,
“Thanks be God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ in heavenly places”.
There are those today who emphasize the material blessings. Paul warns about those who would declare that godliness was a way to prosperity in his letter to Timothy. We should be far more concerned with the spiritual blessings of God because they are the eternal. God may bless me with material things but they are going to pass away at best. The spiritual blessings are going to be mine forever. So he puts the spiritual at the top of the list, even as Paul did, all of the “spiritual blessings in Christ in heavenly places” and Paul made his list of spiritual blessings. David makes his list.
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; (103:3).
Isn’t that glorious? What a blessing. Forget not the benefit, the benefit of having been forgiven of all our iniquities. In psalm thirty-two David said, “O how happy is the man who’s transgressions are forgiven” whose sins are covered. “O how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity” the man that has received forgiveness of all of his iniquities. That’s what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about; the forgiveness of sin.
who healeth all thy diseases; (103:3).
First it was spiritual now it’s physical. God said, “I am the Lord thy God that healeth thee and the healing of thy diseases”.
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; (103:4).
The benefits, God just crowns my life with his lovingkindness and his mercies. He has redeemed my life from destruction, shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Who satisfieth thy mouth [desires] with good things; (103:5).
The word mouth there is perhaps a poor translation from this Hebrew word because the Hebrew word used here is not used anyplace else and translated mouth. It is a word that means more desires, who satisfieth desires by giving you good things. The thing is, as I walk with the Lord, he is the one that puts the desires in my heart. “It is he that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”.
I would like to quote a scripture that you’ve heard quoted so often but give you just perhaps a little different insight on that scripture. Many, many times you’ve heard that scripture quoted, “Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart”. We immediately think I’m going to get everything I desire because I delight myself in the Lord. I desire a new Mercedes and I desire and I desire and I desire.
Consider this as a possible interpretation, “Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart” that is he shall give the desires in your heart. In other words, he’ll plant those proper desires in your heart. He shall give you the desires that are in your heart so to speak or he will plant his desires in your heart. Can you see it? Delight thyself in the Lord and he will plant really the desires in your heart, he will give you the desires of your heart “for it is he that works in you both do will and to do of his good pleasure”.
The Lord said, “In that day I will not write my laws on tables of stone but on the fleshly tablets of their hearts”. The glorious thing about delighting yourself in the Lord and serving the Lord is that as he places his desire in our heart so that the doing of the will of God becomes the delight of our life. He plants those desires there and thus fulfilling the will of God is the most thrilling and exciting fulfilling thing in the world because he has made his will known by creating those desires within my heart.
So many people have so misread God, have so misunderstood God. There are people who are absolutely terrified of surrendering themselves completely to the will of God. There have been all kinds of boogieman stories told about God. You better watch out about what you say because what you say is what you’ll get and the boogieman will get you if you don’t watch out. They paint God as “You be careful about what you say you’re not going to do because brother that’s just what God is apt to make you do”. As though God is there to impose some awful thing upon us that we hate or our attitude towards that place.
Many times a person doesn’t really surrender his life completely to God until he’s just at the end. I mean, there’s no place else to go. It’s all caving in and it’s all coming down and I’m brought to that place of total desperation and hopelessness. I say, “O God, go ahead Lord, your will be done”. Then I cover myself and I wait for the lightening and the thunder, I wait to be rolled over in the corner of the room and I see myself under netting in Africa, bugs in the ceiling and spiders coming down and rats dropping, snakes on the floor and I’m afraid to get out of bed. Here I am in the center of God’s will terrified silly. Not so. “It is he that works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”. He plants his law in the fleshly tablets of our hearts.
If God would want you to go and it’s very unlikely that he would but if he did want you to go New Guinea he would first of all give to you a tremendous interest and fascination with biology. When Kay and I were over there in New Guinea and these lady missionaries had us over for lunch the first thing, as we came in, that they wanted to show off to us was their beautiful boards of mounted bugs. They lived out in the jungles out along these jungle rivers and they had these boards of mounted bugs. These beautiful colored beetles, butterflies and moths, giant moths. They were so proud of their collections of these mounted bugs. If a bug would run across the floor they wouldn’t scream and jump on the chair, they would let out a little squeal of delight and say, “I don’t have that one yet” and grab it and chloroform it and mount it on their boards.
Doing the will of God is a delight; it’s a treasure. There in Irian Jaya, way back into the jungles, a hundred and twenty-five miles with no roads. The only way you can get in there is by plane or it would take you a month or more to go cross-country and you’ll have difficulty. Way back in the jungles was this handsome young man with these two beautiful little children; a beautiful two year old girl and a five year old boy. They were living among these natives in this village as he is learning their language and putting their language down so he can translate the New Testament. As he walked me around the village, he said, “Tell me that when you follow the will of the Lord that he doesn’t lead you to the most beautiful glorious spot on the world to raise your children”.
It was beautiful; streams coming down on both sides of the village and pure enough that you can drink the water out of them. It was just beautiful. He’s so in love with the place. Now, I can handle it for a week or so but he’s so in love with it because God writes his law in the fleshly tablets of our hearts.
Who satisfieth thy mouth [desires] with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s (103:5).
The strength of an eagle.
The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel (103:6-7).
Now he quotes how that the Lord made his ways known to Moses.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy (103:8).
Turn back to Exodus thirty-four, six and seven and we read that when the Lord had given to Moses this second addition of the laws, on the tables of stone, the first tables having been broken by Moses we start in verse five.
“The LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed,” (Exodus 34:5-6)
Here’s how the Lord proclaimed his name.
“The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children,” (Exodus 34:6-7).
But God, the Lord, is merciful and longsuffering, abundant in goodness in truth. What a fallacy the God of the Old Testament is all wrath and fire and hellfire and brimstone. Not so, here’s how God revealed himself to Moses. He made known his ways to Moses.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities (103:8-10).
Whenever I come to God about someone else who has wronged me I’m always saying, “Justice Lord, justice. Give him what he deserves”. Whenever I come to the Lord for myself I’m always saying, “Mercy Lord, mercy”. He has not awarded us according to our iniquities but he has been merciful to us, he’s been longsuffering to us, he’s been gracious and he’s been forgiving.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him (103:11).
How high is the heaven above the earth? Up until last spring, the astronomers said it was twelve billion light years above the earth. Last spring they said they discovered new galaxies fifteen billion light years. God’s mercy just grew by three billion light years. Maybe when they get better telescopes they’ll find out it’s even vaster than that. The heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that reverence him.
As far as the east is from the west so far hath he removed our transgressions from us (103:12).
How far has God removed your transgressions? Aren’t you glad the psalmist didn’t say, “as far as the north is from the south”? Then your transgressions would only be twelve thousand five hundred miles away if you go the circuit or eight thousand miles away if you go through straight through. You see, you can only go north so far. The moment you hit the North Pole you start going south. Any direction you go from the North Pole immediately is south. Get to the South Pole then you’re going north. There’s a definite distance that can be determined between the north and South Pole. You can go east tonight and you can travel east the rest of your life and you’ll always be going east. Or you can start traveling west tonight and you continue traveling west the rest of your life, you’ll never get to West Point or suddenly you’re going east again.
As far as the east is from the west, (103:12).
I don’t know how that works but that’s the way it works.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions [sins] from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him (103:12-13).
I’ll tell you I think that one of the most difficult things, being a father, was to see my children hurt or sick, especially when they were very small. There were many times that I wished that I could somehow take their place, I could take their burning fever and I could take their misery because they were too small to understand it. I felt such pity towards them. My heart was just being rung out as I would see them lying there sick and it just hurt. Your father in heaven has that kind of love for you. He did send his son to bare your sin and to suffer in your place. He took upon himself our sins, our iniquities, our suffering that was due us, the death that was due us, and he did take it upon himself. As a father pitied his children, so our heavenly father pities those who reverence him.
I like this too.
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust (103:14).
It’s important that we remember that too. You that think you are super saint, you think that you are more than you really are, I am certain that the angels who are observing us
“He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways, to bare the blessed anytime you dash your foot upon the stone. Are they not all ministering spirits that are sent forth to minister to those that are heirs of salvation”.
I am certain that many times, as we venture into these places where we have no business being, yes we think that we are so strong and able to handle it all, the angels say, “Oh no. Don’t look. He’s going to try it again”.
Sometimes we have that opinion of ourselves that we are above in someway of temptations or we’re above falling. We are so often disappointed in ourselves. Ever been disappointed in yourself? You thought that you were stronger than that, you thought that you’ve come beyond that and we get so disappointed, “God I failed you again. Lord I’m so sorry”. We are so disappointed in ourselves that we are certain that God must be disappointed in us too. You know, God isn’t disappointed in you because he didn’t expect you to make it anyhow. He knows your frame, he knows you are only dust and he doesn’t expect as much out of us as we expect out of ourselves because he knows us. As a father pities his children, he pities us because he knows our frame and he knows we are only dust, he remembers that.
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth (103:15).
Then comes the seraco, the Satana.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more (103:16).
What is life? It is like a vapor that appears for a moment and then vanishes away. Life is like grass that grows up and flourishes and then is cast into the oven. In contrast to the frailty of man and the temporal character and nature of man.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, (103:17).
Notice, those that fear him, as heaven is high above the earth so great is his mercy towards those that fear him, the Lord pities those that fear him and the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him. How important it is that we live in that proper respect and reverence for God.
I am a little concerned about this good ole buddy upstairs kind of an attitude. The eternal, holy, righteous God, what an awesome privilege to be able to talk to him and fellowship with him. He’s the one that made it possible through Jesus Christ. We need to maintain a proper respect and a proper reverence for God.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; [grandchildren] (103:17).
I love that one too. What a blessing it is to have your children serving the Lord, following him and what a super blessing to have your grandchildren singing about the Lord, talking about the Lord and hearing them…
My one little grandson, I know he’s going to be a preacher, he’s got the voice for it. It’s a little embarrassing because you go into a restaurant and he’s just naturally loud and everybody in the restaurant turns to look. He’s cute as can be but he’s just loud. It is a carry back for me because all my life, from the time I was a child I can remember my mother saying, “Charles modulate your voice”. So I evidently was a loud mouth little kid too. I sort of empathize for this little grandson of mine because he’s just like grandpa. I’ll be walking down the street with him or more apt to be walking down the isle of Toys R Us with him and he’ll be singing to the top of his voice songs about Jesus and praises to the Lord. It’s just a thrill to be around the little guy. Always he would be playing in the back yard singing at the top of his lungs about the Lord.
and righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them (103:17-18).
Jesus said that “not all who say Lord, Lord are going to enter the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of the father”. The importance of keeping God’s covenant and doing the things that he is commanding. James warns us that we should be doers of the word and not hearers only because it’s easy to be deceived. Giving a mental ascent and a verbal ascent, Jesus talked about the two sons whose father asked to go out into the field and work. One said, “sure dad right away” and the other said, “Ah dad I’ve got other things to do today”. The one that said sure dad didn’t go and the other son who said he had other things went out and worked in the field. Now the Lord said, “Which one of them did the will of the father?” The one that actually went. It’s not what you say but what you do.
to those that remember his commandments to do them. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all (103:18-19).
I don’t have time to go into this tonight but God’s kingdom does rule over all. It even rules over Satan’s kingdom. Satan is only allowed to do what God allows him to do, he can’t go any further. He is serving a purpose of God in this world. His kingdom is restricted and limited by God. God puts the boundaries of what he can do for God’s kingdom rules over all. Now the earth is in rebellion against God but it is only because God has tolerated and allowed the rebellion. We could not rebel if God did not allow it. His kingdom rules over all. So the psalmist ends by calling on the whole universe to praise God with adoration and thanksgiving.
Bless the LORD, ye his angels, (103:20).
This would probably be the reference to the highest angels as the scriptures refer to them as the arch-angels.
that excel in strength, (103:20).
They that are of the highest order of the angelic beings.
that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word (103:20).
There standing before God ready to carry out the will of God.
Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; (103:21).
This would be the angelic host of heaven. Suddenly there was with the angel that it made an announcement to the shepherd a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying glory to God in the highest. So the angels that are in a lower rank, the millions of them that are there in heaven, the voice of a hundred million angels singing praises to God in Revelation five.
ye ministers of his, (103:21).
That is the host, the lesser angels that do his pleasure.
Ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure (103:21).
“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation?”
Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: (103:22).
Then finally the repetition of the beginning verse.
bless the LORD, O my soul (103:22).
Shall we pray?
Father help us that we might praise You more, that we might be occupied Father in bringing praise and glory unto Your marvelous name because of all of Your benefits towards us. Lord You’ve done so much. You are so good. You’ve forgiven our iniquities, Lord You healed our diseases, You’ve blessed us Lord with your lovingkindness and Your mercy. Our lives Lord are satisfied. How blessed we are being Your children. Lord we just praise Your name and express to You our love and our gratitude for all that we are in Christ Jesus, all of what we’ve received through Christ Jesus; the redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, this glorious inheritance of the children of life. Lord, help us to praise You more, in Jesus name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7199