Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits…. (Psalm 103:2)
Your attitude determines your altitude. Among the instruments in the cockpit of a plane is the attitude indicator. It shows the relationship of the wings to the horizon. If you want to climb higher, it requires an attitude adjustment. That is true spiritually, as well. If we want to soar, we must adjust our attitude according to the heavenly horizon. If our attitude is set relative to earth’s perspective, then we’ll never take off. What would happen if we adopted the attitude of gratitude displayed in Psalm 103?
We should be grateful for God’s benefits (v.1-5). The Psalmist underscores this with the phrase, “forget not all His benefits” (v.2b). There are so many.
The key benefit is forgiveness of iniquity (v.3a) for it unlocks the door other blessing. It is the greatest provision for our gravest poverty.
The Great Physician—Jehovah Rapha—heals us body and soul (v.3b). Someone asks, “Do you believe in divine healing?” What other kind is there? There is the guarantee of ultimate healing in the resurrection.
God redeems us (v.4a). This means we are set free by payment of a price. Jesus did that on the cross!
The Lord crowns our head (v.4b). God promises a crowning grace. The New Testament also teaches there are crowns we may win. In heaven, we will cast all our crowns at the feet of Jesus recognizing that any crown given is for His glory.
God satisfies our needs (v.5a). Only He can. Everything this world offers is like trying to satisfy your thirst by drinking water from the ocean—the more you take in, the thirstier you become.
The Lord renews our strength (v.5b). As the eagle molts--shedding feathers and gaining new ones so he can continue to soar—we exchange our weakness for God’s power.
Furthermore, we should be grateful for God’s bounty (v.6-10). The text testifies that God is “abounding in mercy,” (v.8b). The first stanza of the Psalm is personal and the second one is national. In verses 1-5, there is a solo, and in v.6-10, the choir adds their voices.
God gives abundant liberty (v.6). Israel had been oppressed in Egypt, but God set them free. There are injustices and inequities in this sin-cursed world, but the hope that God may deliver us now, and will assuredly right every wrong in the end.
God bestows abundant life (v.7). God led and fed His people through the wilderness and brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. In a place of barrenness, they had blessedness! God has pledged to meet all our needs, too.
God grants abundant life (v.8-10). It takes Him a long time to become angry and a brief time to forgive. By grace He give us the eternal life we cannot deserve, and in mercy keeps us from the hell we do merit.
Finally, we should be grateful for God’s benevolence (v.11-22). It is, “So great…So far” (v.11-12). The song builds to a crescendo—from personal, to national, and now universal—the voice of every creature, terrestrial and celestial, blending their voices in a symphony of praise!
There is extensive mercy (v.11-14). It is three-dimensional: in height (v.11), breadth (v.12), and depth (v.13-14).
There is enduring mercy (v.15-18). Here we see a contrast between our frailty and God’s faithfulness.
There is exhaustive mercy (v.19-22). The word, “all” is used nine times in this Psalm.
Old Graham Scroggie put it well, “Those whom the Lord blesses should bless the Lord.”