Psalm 103

The Psalms

Psalm 103
How is your soul?

Psalms index

Psalm 103

1 Of David.

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 harbour his anger for ever; 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.


Psalm 103 – How is your soul?

(Verses 1-5) David is praising his LORD again. The Bible teaches human beings are body, soul and spirit. Hebrews 4:12 says ‘the word of God penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow’. ‘Joints and marrow’ obviously refer to our physical body. Soul is that eternal part of you which either is saved, if you trust Christ as your Saviour and so will go to Heaven, or lost if you do not repent and trust Jesus and will go to Hell. David calls his soul his ‘inmost being’. ‘Spirit’ is ‘the you that is in you’. You are more than a body. You still exist if you lose your arms and legs! Animals have spirits but not eternal souls. It can be hard to distinguish between soul and spirit. Some use the two words interchangeably. Do remember all the ‘benefits’ God gives your soul if you are saved: He forgives its sins, heals its diseases, redeems it from ‘the pit’, crowns it with love and compassion, satisfies its desires with good things, and renews it. What a great benefit package of grace!

(Verses 6-18) David turns from man’s soul to God’s character. He is righteous, just, kind to the oppressed, ‘compassionate’, ‘gracious’, ‘slow to anger, abounding in love’, not always accusing or angry, not treating us as severely as He could, loving greatly, and as high as the heavens, utterly forgiving, knowing everything about us, and ‘from everlasting to everlasting’. Man’s soul will live on eternally—lost or saved—and his body is passing just as grass and flowers wither and die. But saved men and women, while alive, know His love and influence future generations for Him, keep His covenant, and obey His precepts. That demonstrates their saving faith in Christ, by repentance and trust in Him, who carried their sins and penalty for them on the cross, and then rose again.

(Verses 19-22) The LORD ‘rules over all’ from Heaven. David praises His glorious and almighty Saviour-God and urges God’s ‘angels’ and ‘mighty ones who do His bidding and obey His word’ also to ‘Praise the LORD.’ All the hosts of Heaven and all God’s servants, who seek to do His will, are encouraged to join this ‘Praise choir.’ So are God’s created works everywhere! David remembers His own privilege and duty when he ends the psalm with, ‘Praise the LORD, O my soul’. Will you join in too?