Bless the Lord, O My Soul, Psalm 103

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Bless the Lord, O My Soul 

Psalm 103

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 8, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Scripture Reader and Reading: Dave Fitzwater – Hebrews 4.14–16

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs praising the Lord


  1. What benefits have you derived from the Lord? 
    1. Can you count them?
    2. Do you only think of earthly benefits?
    3. How has He benefited you in the spirit?
  2. Psalm 103 reveals eight benefits of the Lord toward us. 
    1. These benefits are of such magnitude
    2. that they require our whole person to return a blessing to the Lord.


  1. Psalm 103.0 – A Man Who Served the Lord Wholeheartedly

    0 A Psalm of David.

    1. Since David wrote Psalm 103,
    2. the words of the Psalm do not surprise me.
      1. David had 100% zeal for the Lord, and
      2. so the king talked to himself to bless the Lord wholeheartedly.
        1. Do you expect anything less from David?
        2. Do you expect anything less from yourself?
  2. Psalm 103.1–2 – Wholeheartedly Bless the Lord

    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:

    1. You can hear David’s spiritual energy level rise
    2. every line of the first two verses.
      1. He told himself to bless the Lord, and
      2. to bless the Lord with all that was in himself.
        1. He repeated the exhortation to himself to bless the Lord, and
        2. then explained why, that he could not forget all the Lord’s benefits.
  3. Psalm 103.3–7 – The Lord Wholeheartedly Blesses Us

    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.
    6 The Lord executes righteousness
    And justice for all who are oppressed.
    7 He made known His ways to Moses,
    His acts to the children of Israel.

    1. First, the Lord forgives all your iniquities.
    2. Second, the Lord heals all your diseases.
    3. Third, the Lord redeems your life from destruction.
    4. Fourth, the Lord crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
    5. Fifth, the Lord satisfies your mouth with good things, renewing your youth like the eagle’s.
    6. Sixth, the Lord executes righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
    7. Seventh, the Lord made known His ways and acts to Moses and Israel.
  4. Psalm 103.8–18 – The Lord’s Wholeheartedly Mercy

    8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
    9 He will not always strive with us,
    Nor will He keep His anger forever.
    10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
    Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
    11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    So great is His mercy toward 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 pities his children,
    So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
    14 For He knows our frame;
    He remembers that we are dust.
    15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
    16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    And its place remembers it no more.
    17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
    On those who fear Him,
    And His righteousness to children’s children,
    18 To such as keep His covenant,
    And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

    1. David wrote many more lines to speak of benefit number eight.
    2. Truly, the first seven benefits are specific applications of benefit number eight.
      1. Look at the Lord’s mercy (v. 8):
        1. He is gracious.
        2. He is slow to anger.
        3. He abounds in mercy.
          1. If you are not sure about the truths of verse 8,
          2. how long would you put up with the world?
      2. Has He dealt with us according to our sins? (vv. 9–10)
        1. I do not believe that He has, because
        2. if I was in charge,
          1. I would have ended everything long ago!
          2. What would you have done with the world?
    3. Just how merciful has He been to the world? (v. 11)
      1. What is the measure between the heavens and the Earth?
      2. That is the measure of His mercy toward those who fear Him!
    4. How far is the East from the West? (v. 12)
      1. They never meet.
      2. Stand in one place anywhere on Earth, and
        1. you will point in opposition directions
        2. for East and West.
      3. Likewise, He so separates our sins from us!
    5. Look at verses 13 and 14.
      1. How does a father pity his children?
        1. A good father knows how to work with his children.
        2. He knows that although children often do not act their age,
          1. he also knows that adults often expect children to act
          2. older than their age.
      2. God knows that our frame is dust (v. 14).
        1. He is the One who made us.
        2. He knows the difference between us and Him.
          1. He knows (vv. 15–16), that
          2. we last as long as grass, flowers, and the wind.
    6. None of that can we use to excuse a life of sin.
      1. Verse 17 says He shows mercy to those who fear Him.
      2. That means (v. 18),
        1. we keep His covenant, and
        2. we remember His commandments to do them.
  5. Psalm 103.19 – The Whole Heart of the Lord

    19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
    And His kingdom rules over all.

    1. Look at the Lord’s dealings with us in verses 8–18.
    2. Then think on verse 19.
      1. Does the Lord do anything halfheartedly?
      2. He rules over all His kingdom.
        1. He is not neglectful.
        2. He is mindful toward humanity and the rest of His creation.
          1. What does the death of Jesus Christ show?
          2. It shows the ultimate application of this Psalm.
    3. Although He established His throne in heaven,
      1. He came down here,
      2. lived among us,
        1. died,
        2. returned to heaven and
          1. rules over all.
          2. He does not rule to despise us, but to show mercy.
  6. Psalm 103.20–22 – May All of the Lord’s Creation Wholeheartedly Bless Him

    20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
    Who excel in strength, who do His word,
    Heeding the voice of His word.
    21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
    You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
    22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
    In all places of His dominion.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul!

    1. David overflowed with thoughts of the Lord’s benefits,
    2. David turned away from telling himself to bless the Lord, and
      1. told the rest of creation,
      2. in heaven and on Earth,
        1. to bless the Lord.
        2. His angels, His hosts,
          1. those who excel in strength,
          2. those who do the Lord’s word,
          3. those who heed the voice of the Lord’s word,
          4. those who act as ministers and do the Lord’s pleasure,
            1. let them bless the Lord.
            2. They do it automatically without man telling them what to do.
    3. By the way, the Hebrew writer quoted parts of this passage.
      1. After questioning whether God ever invited an angel
      2. to sit at His right hand,
        1. the writer explained or identified the work of angels, and
        2. it did not include sitting at God’s right hand,

          14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Heb 1.14).

          1. They work on our behalf.
          2. They do not obey us, but the Lord.
            1. However, the point is they bless the Lord
            2. by heeding the Lord’s word.
    4. May all the Lord’s works (and
      1. just how much does that include?),
      2. bless the Lord.
        1. He rules over all.
        2. Therefore, in all places of His dominion,
          1. let everything and
          2. let everyone
            1. bless the Lord.
            2. Knowing that the angels and
              1. all the works of the Lord bless Him,
              2. David ended the Psalm the way he began,
                1. telling himself to bless the Lord
                2. with his soul.
                  1. How can we not bless the Lord?
                  2. How do you spend your days?