Theme: Freedom from guilt
Know: Forgiveness flows from God’s character and leads to joy and peace.
Think: Rest in the assurance that the Lord has forgiven me, taking away my sin and shame.
Do: Let go of guilt and shame, realizing I am forgiven by God’s grace.
Scriptures; Psalm 103:1-14
Notes and questions:
B1 Our passage
A Psalm 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 forget not all his benefits:
- Who forgives all your iniquities;
- who heals all your diseases;
- Who redeems your life from destruction;
- who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
- Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
- The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all that are oppressed.
- He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
- The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy.
- He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.
- He has not dealt with us according to our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
- For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
- As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
- Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.
- For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalms 103:1-14
- The Hebrew word is barak and means to kneel as in humbly acknowledging someone’s superiority used of the inferior to the superior (Genesis 1:22 and Psalm 29:11). When it is used with the superior being, it is a gift, boon, etc. to that person, family, or nation (Genesis 24:48 and Job 42:12) .
- Genesis 1:22: And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
- Psalm 29:11: The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
- Genesis 24:48: And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son.
- Job 42:12: So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
- International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE) states
- “The context furnishes the key to its meaning, which is the bestowal of good, and in this particular place the pleasure and power of increase in kind [referring to Genesis 1:22--ed].”
- “In Genesis 24:48, for example, Abraham's servant says, "I bowed my head, and worshipped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham," where the word evidently means to worship God, to exalt and praise Him.”
- In its basic sense the Hebrew word, nephesh, means breath.
- Citing ISBE again, it is mentioned
- “Soul, like spirit, has various shades of meaning in the Old Testament, which may be summarized as follows: "Soul," "living being," "life," "self," "person," "desire," "appetite," "emotion" and "passion."
- “By an easy transition the word comes to stand for the individual, personal life, the person, with two distinct shades of meaning which might best be indicated by the Latin anima and animus. As anima, "soul," the life inherent in the body, the animating principle in the blood is denoted (compare Deuteronomy 12:23,24, ‘Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the soul; and thou shalt not eat the soul with the flesh'). As animus, "mind," the center of our mental activities and passivities is indicated. Thus we read of ‘a hungry soul' (Psalm 107:9), ‘a weary soul' (Jeremiah 31:25), ‘a loathing soul' (Leviticus 26:11), ‘a thirsty soul' (Psalm 42:2), ‘a grieved soul' (Job 30:25), ‘a loving soul' (Song of Solomon 1:7), and many kindred expressions.”
B3 How has God blessed us? How have we blessed God?
B4 Note that God’s name is a holy name, that is, it represents a perfect being in light, love, goodness, justice, etc.
- The Hebrew word is gĕmuwl.
- It means any action or deed that is good or, on the other hand, bad.
- Punish them for what they have done,for the evil they have committed. Punish them for all their deeds; give them what they deserve! Psalm 28:4.
- When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back. Proverbs 19:17.
B6 Matthew Henry writes in his commentary on this passage: “It is the soul that is to be employed in blessing God, and all that is within us. We make nothing of our religious performances if we do not make heart-work of them, if that which is within us, nay, if all that is within us, be not engaged in them. The work requires the inward man, the whole man, and all little enough.”
B7 Where does good come from?
B8 Psalm 103:3,
- What are the two benefits listed in this verse?
- Who is the one who heals and forgives?
- Were these things seen in the ministry of the Lord Jesus?
- What do these benefits mean to you?
B9 Psalm 103:4,
- What contrast is with these two benefits?
- What kinds of destruction might the Psalmist refer to?
- Why would lovingkindness and tender mercies be described as a crown?
- What word might refer to the cost of these blessings? (redeemed)
B10 Psalm 103:5,
- What are the good things?
- How can our strength be renewed as an eagles?”
B11 Psalm 103:6,
- Who are the oppressed?
- What does God do for them?
- How does this happen?
- When does it happen?
B12 Psalm 103:7,
- What good thing is seen in this passage?
- Why would those things be good?
- How do those things bless people?
- How can we pass it on?
B13 Psalm 103:8,
- How can we be thankful for these things?
- Can we do these things to others?
- How has God’s blessing of being slow to anger helped you?
B14 Psalm 103:9,
- Does this apply to ALL people?
- Does it apply to people after they have died?
- Cross references:
- Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
- Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
B15 Psalm 103:10,
- Do we deserve God’s blessings? Why?
- What reward do we deserve?
- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Revelation 21:8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
B16 Psalm 103:11-12,
- How much mercy does God have?
- Do we worry about our sins being so evil that God could not possibly forgive us? Are we correct thinking this?
- Why do we sometimes remember our sins? Are they forgiven? What can we do when the memory of our past sins plague us?
B17 Psalm 103:13,
- How can parents apply this verse to child raising?
- Can we take pity too far? Are there situations when there should be no pitying?
- Why would God want to pity us?
B18 Psalm 103:14,
- What good thing about God’s memory that helps us?
- Would this verse be an excuse for sin?
- Why is remembering what we are helpful?
- Since we are flesh, dust of the field, where is the role of pride?
- A quote from the Bible Illustrator, Old Testament on this passage: God's individual care:--The historian tells us that the great Duke of Wellington, who was known as the Iron Duke, before one of his earliest campaigns had a soldier with his full marching equipment accurately weighed. Knowing what one soldier of average strength had to carry, he could judge how far his army might be called to march without breaking down. Our Heavenly Father does not deal in averages. With infinite wisdom and love He cares individually for us. (L. A. Banks, D.D.)