“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)
The benefits of the Lord are, indeed, great and marvelous, and it would be an act of ingratitude not to remember and appreciate them. Note the following partial list in this psalm:
- Forgiveness. “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities” (v. 3). God forgives all! He “cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
- Healing. “Who healeth all thy diseases” (v. 3). The greatest and ultimate disease is that of aging and death, but one day “there shall be no more death” (Revelation 21:4).
- Redemption. “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction” (v. 4; see also 1 Peter 1:18-19).
- Glorification. “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (v. 4).
- Provision. “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things” (v. 5; see also James 1:17).
- Strength. “Thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (v. 5).
- Protection. “The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed” (v. 6).
The greatest benefit of all, of course, is the gift of salvation, by the mercy of God. Note the testimonies of God’s mercy: “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (v. 4). “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (v. 8). “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (v. 11). “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him” (v. 17).
Infinite as the universe, enduring as eternity—these are the dimensions of God’s mercy! “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (v. 12). No wonder this great psalm both begins and ends with the inspiring exhortation: “Bless the LORD, O my soul!” HMM