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.-Psalm 103:1-5
This psalm teaches us adoration. Adoration is NOT thanksgiving; it is silent wonder.
Adoration is wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, and it is very sanctifying when He gives us such moments of nearness to Himself.
The psalm is a call to praise "His holy name". His doings come after. His holy name is the fountainhead; His doings the streams for Lebanon. We are called to praise Him because.
1. He forgives our iniquities (sins). Our first true acquaintance with God is when He pardons us. He does not leave a single sin resting on the conscience; the blood that cleanses one cleanses all. For our sins are linked together, one great awful chain round our soul, and God takes hold of the first link, and so casts the whole chain "into the depths of the sea."
(when I looked up images of the sea, the first one that popped up was the Sea of Galilee!)
2. He heals our diseases. He may not heal completely, but He takes the sting out of our disease. After pardon He gives healing of the soul's diseases. It is the repeated use of the forgiving blood, day by day, that we mortify our corruptions, just as it is by the blood that we quench the fiery darts of satan. There is not a corruption over which He will not give you victory.
3. He redeems our life from destruction. We every day escape dangers that we are not aware of. If we but saw the snares Satan lays for us spiritually, how we would adore the Lord who enables us to escape them all! How often the devil tries to make us unwatchful, or gives us false peace, but God is watching over us, and He redeems our spiritual life from these spiritual injuries.
4 He crowns us with loving-kindness. Look at the comforts of your lot. Think of the spiritual mercies of your life. "Bless the Lord, O my soul!" Is He not satisfying your mouth with good things? Faith has a good memory; unbelief forgets.
Let us ask the Lord to give us better memories for all His benefits, that we may fix our minds on His grace, in spite of all that may happen to us.
(Andrew Bonar 1810-1892 was a well known minister of the Free Church of Scotland. A man of constant prayer, God used him mightily during the Kilsyth Revival of 1839-1840)