This is the time of year when we remember all those who gave their lives in two World Wars and in other conflicts across the world. Men and women of all ages have given their lives YESTERDAY that we might have freedom and peace TODAY. We continue to remember all those who have been wounded and who bear the scars of warfare and also those who sorrow, many whose loved ones are buried in a foreign land.
On the theme of REMEMBRANCE the words in Psalm 103 are appropriate:
In v2 “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits”
These final words are a negative way of saying REMEMBER ALL HIS BENEFITS. Some of these benefits, not all, are listed.
1. FORGIVES v3 ‘who forgives all your iniquities’
Forgiveness is said to be the loveliest words in the English language. It is mentioned FIRST – no other benefit or Blessing can be really enjoyed until we are forgiven. It is FULL ‘ALL your iniquities’. God’s forgiveness is comprehensive. It covers to the PAST, the PRESENT, the FUTURE
Christ the Heavenly Lamb
Takes all our sins away
A sacrifice of noble name
And richer blood than they
It is FREE – The bible word is GRACE
2. HEALS v3 ‘who heals ALL your diseases’
We read in Mark 1:34 of the words of the Lord Jesus ‘they brought to Him all who were sick and He healed many with various diseases’. Here however in psalm 103 the word HEALS is used as a metaphor for spiritual sickness. The testimony of God’s people is always Isaiah 53v5
‘But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are HEALED.’
3. REDEEMS v4 ‘who REDEEMS your life from destruction’.
That is DELIVERS from bondage and bought out of slavery. ‘Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb’.
4. CROWNS v4 ‘who CROWNS you with lovingkindness and tender mercies’.
The essence of the crown is love and mercy. The word conveys the idea of ENCIRCLE. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we are encircled and surrounded by His love and mercy.ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS.
5. SATISFIES v5 ‘who satisfies your mouth with good things’.
All that we require He supplies. The things that are His, He gives to us.
Pastor W.J.K. Byers