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‘Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord! Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice; tender to me the promise of his word; in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice’ (Timothy Dudley-Smith, 1962).

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Bible passage Psalm 103

Psalm 103

Of David.
 1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
       all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
       and forget not all his benefits-

 3 who forgives all your sins
       and heals all your diseases,

 4 who redeems your life from the pit
       and crowns you with love and compassion,

 5 who satisfies your desires with good things
       so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

 6 The LORD works righteousness
       and justice for all the oppressed.

 7 He made known his ways to Moses,
       his deeds to the people of Israel:

 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
       slow to anger, abounding in love.

 9 He will not always accuse,
       nor will he harbor his anger forever;

 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
       or repay us according to our iniquities.

 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
       so great is his love for 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 has compassion on his children,
       so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

 14 for he knows how we are formed,
       he remembers that we are dust.

 15 As for man, his days are like grass,
       he flourishes like a flower of the field;

 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
       and its place remembers it no more.

 17 But from everlasting to everlasting
       the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
       and his righteousness with their children's children-

 18 with those who keep his covenant
       and remember to obey his precepts.

 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
       and his kingdom rules over all.

 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
       you mighty ones who do his bidding,
       who obey his word.

 21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
       you his servants who do his will.

 22 Praise the LORD, all his works
       everywhere in his dominion.
       Praise the LORD, O my soul.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Explore the Bible

Meditating on God's promises
Maybe the readings from Romans left you breathless with wonder and thankfulness! But whether you are feeling full of praise like David, or burdened and sad, listen to God’s quiet words of promise here in this psalm. Why not take each of the verses and use them as meditations throughout the day? Here are a few thoughts to start with. (Look out for connections with the readings in Romans.)

God has forgiven and redeemed us. This is transforming our lives in ways which we and others can’t miss (vs 4,5). He has removed our sin and guilt ‘as far as the east is from the west’ (v 12). We are forgiven!

All about God
God’s compassion and love are for everyone, with a special bias for those who suffer injustice and are oppressed (v 6). How do our lives reflect this love?

God knows us (v 14). Our lives here are dusty and short (vs 14–16)! Yet for those who love him, seek to follow and obey him, he gives eternal significance. We are safe in his everlasting love (vs 17,18,21).

God reigns. We serve him with ‘his heavenly hosts’ (vs 21,22). There’s a bigger picture which sometimes we don’t see.


‘Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name’ (v 1). Use this verse to bring your praise and thanks to God now.

'Tricia Williams

Deeper Bible study

The wonder of a gracious God, celebrated by Paul in Romans, is also apparent in this psalm. The salvation that we have in Jesus was signposted by the psalmist, as he calls himself (and us) to praise God for all his benefits. He celebrates the totality of forgiveness and the provision of all good things. There is an inner renewal (compare 2 Corinthians 4:16). There is a reordering of the world in righteousness. The blessing of knowing God’s ways through the Law of Moses brings also the assurance of his fatherly compassion. He knows our dusty inheritance from Adam.

The psalmist sees the world’s extent from east to west as an indication of the breadth of our forgiveness, just as the distance of heaven to earth is a reflection of the greatness of God’s love. As Christians, we can see another perspective on the terms ‘east’ and ‘west’. We have a gospel to proclaim of a forgiveness that is available to the entire world, so we are challenged to take this gospel to both east and west. Today we can see Christians from all nations fulfilling that command.

The psalmist reflects on the finiteness of man, but rejoices in the eternity of God. He glories in the continuity of his love from generation to generation. We are reminded again today that the world is the kingdom of our Lord Jesus and that he will continue to work throughout time by using both his human and his angelic servants to do his will. There will come the day when all the works of the Lord praise his name. With the encouragement of this psalm we can not only call on our souls to praise the Lord but also actively tell of his salvation to all nations, knowing that all power in heaven and earth has been given to him (Matthew 28:18).

Ray Porter

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Deuteronomy 23,24

Romans 5

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Only by Grace
Gerrit Gustafson
© 1990 Integrity's Hosanna! Music
Buy this and other great worship songs here

By Faith
Simon Brading
Copyright © 2006 Thankyou Music

  • David Chipchase | Saturday, 25 March 2017

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