Psalm 103: Lessons from David for Praising God’s Mercy and Grace

Introduction: As King of Israel, David committed serious sins including, but not limited to, murder and adultery (2 Sam. 11). To convict David of his sins, God had to first afflict him with a serious illness (Ps. 32:3-4). After he repented, God spared David’s life (2 Sam. 12:13). But David still suffered a lifetime of painful consequences for his serious sins. The prophet Nathan warned that he would lose his then unborn child with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:14). Nathan also warned that the sword of conflict would never leave David’s family (2 Sam. 12:10). As a fulfillment of these prophesies, David first lost his unborn son (2 Sam. 12:16-19). David’s son Amnon later raped his half-sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:1-14). David’s son Absalom then murdered Ammon (2 Sam. 13:24-33). Absalom then led a coup d’état to overthrow his father David and usurp his kingdom (2 Samuel 15:7-12). David’s general Joab later killed Absalom (2 Sam. 18:14). David’s son Adonijah later tried to seize the thrown from David’s appointed successor Solomon (1 Kgs. 1:5-27). Under similar circumstances, many would be filled with bitterness and resentment. But David looked back on his life and offered praises for God. David’s psalm praised God for several aspects of His holy character. These include praises for God’s (1) grace, (2) deliverance, (3) mercy, (4) forgiveness, (5) compassion, (6) salvation, and (7) sovereignty.

First, despite his life of pain, David praised God for his undeserved blessings. God also deserves your praise. Even though you will face trials and pain, His grace is sufficient for you. Second, David thanked God for being just and fair to deliver His people. God also deserves your praise because He is just and fair to deliver you in His perfect timing. Third, because David’s sins carried multiple death sentences under God’s Law, David praised God for His mercy. Every person has fallen short of God’s perfect Law because of their sins. Thus, you should also praise God for His mercy in your life. Fourth, David also praised God for forgiveness. God sent His only begotten son Jesus to die on cross to forgive your sins. Thus, Jesus deserves your praise. Fifth, David separately praised God for His compassion. You can also give thanks that God is filled with love and compassion for you. Sixth, David also praised God for his salvation. You can also give thanks for the salvation that Jesus made possible through faith in His atoning death. Finally, David praised God as the sovereign ruler over everything. You can also praise Jesus because He is the sovereign King of Kings. He causes all things to work together for His good.

1. Grace: Praise God that His Grace is Sufficient for You. Ps. 103:1-5.

  • David offered praises for his undeserved blessings. Knowing that he could have died for his many sins, David looked back on his life with praises for his undeserved blessings: “A Psalm of David. 1 Bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget any of His benefits; who pardons all your guilt, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with favor and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (Ps. 103:1-5). Because he knew he deserved nothing, he had an appreciation and satisfaction for any blessing God offered him. “The fact that he exhorts his own ‘soul’ to bless indicates that he will bless with his whole being, his whole spiritual being, his will, his reason, and his affections.” (Allen Ross on Ps. 103).1

  • Bless and praise God’s holy name. In a foreshadow to the later revelation of God’s triune nature, David declared a triple blessing for God’s holy name: “1 Bless the Lord, . . . bless His holy name. Bless the Lord,” (Ps. 103:1-2). In reference to God’s character, the psalmists repeatedly blessed God’s holy “name”: “For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name.” (Ps. 33:21). “Bless the LORD, my soul! LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,” (Ps. 104:1). “Boast in His holy name; may the heart of those who seek the LORD be joyful.” (Ps. 105:3). “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, my soul!” (Ps. 146:1). Moses also proclaimed God’s holy name: “For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God!” (Dt. 32:3). God deserves your complete praise for His holy character.

Bless the Lord | Bless the lord, Psalms 103, O my soul

Praise Jesus with your mind, your heart, and your soul2

  • Remember to praise God for His grace. David urged believers to “not forget any of His benefits;” (Ps. 103:2). Moses also urged believers to not forget God’s blessings: “be careful that you do not forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Dt. 6:12). Grace is defined as the “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification”.3 When God blesses you with “unmerited divine assistance,” He wants you to “Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,” (1 Chr. 16:12). “What shall I repay to the LORD for all His benefits to me?” (Ps. 116:12). Every good and perfect thing in your life is a blessing from God that you received out of grace (Jam. 1:17). God wants you to acknowledge His blessings. This can include sharing your testimony with others so that others may turn to God to find salvation and hope.

  • God prepared David for repentance with poor health.  Before the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sins, God softened David’s heart for repentance by plaguing him with poor health:  “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.”  (Ps. 32:3-4).  Thus, David gave thanks for God’s healing: “who pardons all your guilt, who heals all your diseases;” (Ps. 103:3). David also thanked God for his healing in other psalms: “LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” (Ps. 30:2). Through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s blessing of healing is also available to you in His timing: “But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; the punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24). If you are in need of healing, turn to Jesus for help. Not all illness is connected to an individual sin. If you are experiencing an illness tied to a sin, first repent of your sins. If you pray and your prayers are not immediately answered, be patient and submit to His will. If He answers your prayers, remember to praise Him and share your testimony.

  • Even in times of loss, give thanks for God’s grace. In addition to suffering poor health, David and Bathsheba lost their first child died at birth (2 Sam. 12:16-19). He also lost his son Ammon (2 Sam. 13:24-33) and later his son Absalom (2 Sam. 18:14). Many would be bitter after losing three children. But David always responded by worshiping God for His mercy and grace: “So David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and when he asked, they served him food, and he ate.” (2 Sam. 12:20). Like David, will you praise God during your times of loss and sadness?

  • God’s grace includes the offer of renewal: David gave thanks that God also spiritually renewed him after he repented: “who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (Ps. 103:5). Isaiah repeated the same offer of spiritual renewal to all of Israel if it repented: “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Is. 40:31). God does not want any to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). When you confess your sins, you can find renewal as Jesus releases you from the pain. Others may continue to judge you for your sins. But He will not judge you.

  • God’s grace includes contentment and peace. David also praised God because He “satisfies” “with good things.” (Ps. 103:5). When he repented, God renewed David and blessed him with contentment and peace: “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” (Ps. 17:15). “He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” (Ps. 23:2). “They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You allow them to drink from the river of Your delights.” (Ps. 36:8). “Satisfy us in the morning with Your graciousness, that we may sing for joy and rejoice all our days.” (Ps. 90:14). “You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.” (Ps. 104:28). “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Ps. 145:16). When you repent and accept what Jesus has to offer, He also offers you His peace (Jo. 14:27).

  • Let God’s grace be sufficient for you. David did not impose conditions on God. Because he knew that he deserved nothing, he knew that God’s grace was sufficient for him. Paul also knew that he did not deserve God’s blessings. Thus, no matter what he received, he accepted that God’s grace was sufficient for him. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Cor. 12:9). Will you accept any blessing that God chooses to provide as sufficient for you?

2. Deliverance: Praise God Because Hs is Just and Fair to Deliver You. Ps. 103:6.

  • David praised God for His deliverance. Although David was God’s appointed king, David praised God, the King of Kings, for using him to help deliver those in need: “The Lord performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed.” (Ps. 103:6). God does not want you to place your hope in other people for your deliverance. Instead, He wants you to turn to Him. “He does not leave the poor and needy to perish at the hands of their enemies, but interposes on their behalf, for he is the executor of the poor and the executioner of the cruel. When his people were in Egypt, he heard their groanings and brought them forth, but he overthrew Pharaoh in the Red Sea. Man’s injustice shall receive retribution at the hand of God.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 103:6).4

  • God is just to deliver His people according to His perfect timing. The psalms are filled with praises for God because He is just and fair and will never forget His promises to deliver His people: “For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will see His face.” (Ps. 11:7) ‘“Because of the devastation of the poor, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,’ says the LORD; ‘I will put him in the safety for which he longs.”’ (Ps. 12:5). “Love the LORD, all His godly ones! The LORD watches over the faithful but fully repays the one who acts arrogantly.” (Ps. 31:23). “For the LORD loves justice and does not abandon His godly ones; they are protected forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be eliminated.” (Ps. 37:28). “God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious live in parched lands.” (Ps. 68:6). “For the LORD hears the needy, and does not despise those of His who are prisoners.” (Ps. 69:33). “The strength of the King loves justice; You have established order; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” (Ps. 99:4). “Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.” (Ps. 146:7). God’s justice and His deliverance will always come according to His perfect timing. Thus, He wants you to be patient and trust Him.

Exodus A Song Of Deliverance - God's Strong Hand And Outstretched Arm - 1920x1080 Wallpaper ...

Praise Jesus for freeing you from bondage to sin5

  • Praise Jesus as your deliverer.  Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would bring good news and deliver God’s people: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners;” (Is. 61:1). Jesus quoted from this prophesy to reveal that it referred to Him (Lk. 4:17-18; Matt. 11:4-5). David also prophesied that the Messiah who would free the oppressed: “You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” (Ps. 2:9). The New Testament confirms that David was referring to Jesus: “And He shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are shattered, as I also have received authority from My Father;” (Rev. 2:27). Jesus will one day come to judge evil: “Then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will eliminate with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;” (2 Thess. 2:8). “From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” (Rev. 19:15). Jesus again deserves your praise for delivering you from evil.

  • All things are possible with God when you have faith. When you have faith, there is no miracle that is too big for God: “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” (Gen. 18:14(a)). “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2). “‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ (Matt. 19:26(b); Mk. 10:27(b); Lk. 1:37). “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31). Thus, you can trust God.

3. Mercy: Praise God Because He is Filled With Mercy. Ps. 103:7-11.

  • David praised God’s mercy. Because he knew the penalties for his serious sins, David praised God’s mercy: “He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He will not always contend with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our guilty deeds. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.” (Ps. 103:7-11). “The truth, mercy, and love that God declared as His glory, goodness, and name in Exod 34:6-7 are applied to David’s own personal life, the history of Israel, and her future redemption in Ps. 103. The promise of this future redemption comes to pass in the Word made flesh in John 1 … He bore our sins in His body on the tree, paid our debt, and set us free.” (James Hamilton on Ps. 103).6

  • David’s many crimes carried multiple death sentences.  The punishment for David’s adultery was death (Lev. 20:10; Dt. 22:22).  The punishment for David’s intentional murder of Uriah was also death:  “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”  (Gen 9:6; Ex. 21:12; Lev. 24:17; Nu. 35:30).  When he confronted David, the prophet Nathan also accused David of “despising” God’s Word (2 Sam. 12:9).  His actions blasphemed God’s holy name (Ezek. 20:27; Ro. 2:24).  For someone who blasphemed God’s name through his conduct as David did, the penalty for this was also death (Nu. 15:31).  Thus, David’s actions carried a triple death sentence under God’s Law. David could not appreciate his need for God’s mercy and grace until he recognized the penalties he deserved for his serious sins.

  • God is merciful for His people. David praised God for making known to Moses that He “is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.” (Ps. 103:8). God revealed His mercy to mercy to Moses when His people faced destruction in the wilderness for their rebellions: “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness and truth; who keeps faithfulness for thousands, who forgives wrongdoing, violation of His Law, and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, inflicting the punishment of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”’ (Ex. 34:6-7). “And He said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will show compassion.”’ (Ex. 33:19; Ro. 9:15). “‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in mercy, forgiving wrongdoing and violation of His Law; but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, inflicting the punishment of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.”’ (Nu. 14:18).

  • Like David, the wages of your sins are also death.  Some might see David as a fool who deserved to die.  Yet, even if you have never committed an act of adultery or murder, it only takes one broken commandment to break them all.  “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”  (Jam. 2:10).  And the wages of all sin are death:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Ro. 6:23).  Will you share His gift with others?

4. Forgiveness: Praise Jesus for His Atoning Death and Forgiveness. Ps. 103:12.

  • David praised God for His forgiveness. In addition to sparing David from his death sentences, David gave thanks that God had removed his sins before God: “12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our wrongdoings from us.” (Ps. 103:12). Although there are still consequences to sin when you repent, God promises to forget your sins: “I, I alone, am the one who wipes out your wrongdoings for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Is. 43:25; Heb. 8:12). “God’s mercy is the cause, the removal of sin the result. The two are commensurate, and are ‘described by the largest measures which the earth can afford.”’ (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 103:12).7

David confessed his sins before God and received complete forgiveness8

  • Repent of your sins to receive Jesus’ mercy.  God spared David only because he repented (2 Sam. 12:13).  To be saved, you must also repent to Jesus.  In preparation for Jesus, John the Baptist called all sinners to repent.  ‘“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’  (Matt. 3:2).   Jesus also began His ministry with a call to repentance:  “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 4:17).  “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”’ (Lk. 18:13.)  If you say that you are without sin the truth is not in you  (1 Jo. 1:8).  Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9).  Are there any sins that you need to repent of?

  • David’s psalms of praise for God’s forgiveness and His mercy and grace.  In addition to repenting of his sins, David wrote a different psalm for generations to sing so that all could follow his example by seeking God’s forgiveness and His mercy and grace:  “For the choir director.  A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone into Bathsheba.  Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge. . .”  (Ps. 51:1-4).  Like David, each sinner has a story to tell about their deliverance.  Will you sing God’s praises for His forgiveness and His mercy and grace?

  • Praise Jesus because His mercy includes forgiveness. Like David, Jesus is also owed songs of praise for your forgiveness: “Look at my misery and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.” (Ps. 25:18). “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not hide my guilt; I said, ‘I will confess my wrongdoings to the LORD’; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah” (Ps. 32:5). “You forgave the guilt of Your people; You covered all their sin. Selah” (Ps. 85:2). You can praise Jesus because His forgiveness is available when you repent of your sins to Him (1 Jo. 1:9). “One who conceals his wrongdoings will not prosper, but one who confesses and abandons them will find compassion.” (Prov. 28:13). “Who is a God like You, who pardons wrongdoing and passes over a rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.” (Micah 7:18). Jesus paid a terrible price to redeem you (1 Cor. 6:20). You can show your praise for Jesus by making your life a living sacrifice to Him (Ro 12:1-2).

5. Compassion: Praise God for His Love and Compassion for You. Ps. 103:13.

  • David praised God for His compassion. Because God loves His people, He is filled with compassion to shower them with His mercy and grace: “13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13). Because our Heavenly Father loves us, He also does not impose difficult conditions to receive the blessing of His mercy and grace: “We think of a loving father dealing with his tired children. He does not demand more of them than they can perform, but with care takes into account their weaknesses. He comforts them and measures his expectations according to his wisdom and compassion.” (David Guzik on Ps. 103:13).9

  • God is compassionate. God’s mercy is based upon His compassion for His people (Ex. 33:19; 34:6-7). “Remember, LORD, Your compassion and Your faithfulness, for they have been from of old.” (Ps. 25:6). “I have remembered Your judgments from of old, LORD, and comfort myself.” (Ps. 119:52). “I will make mention of the mercies of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion and according to the abundance of His mercies.” (Is. 63:7; Jer. 16:5).

  • Show God’s compassion to others. God wants you to be His hands and feet to comfort others the way He comforts you: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God.” (Is. 40:1). “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Is. 66:13). God will place people in your life who are suffering. Are you a source of God’s comfort to them?

6. Salvation: Praise Jesus for His Offer of Everlasting Salvation. Ps. 103:14-18.

  • David gave thanks for His eternal mercy and grace. Even without the promises of the New Testament, David had the faith to know that God’s eternal mercy and grace would outlast his short time on Earth: “14 For He Himself knows our form; He is mindful that we are nothing but dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; like a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place no longer knows about it. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting for those who fear Him, and His justice to the children’s children, 18 to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts, so as to do them.” (Ps. 103:14-18). “He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 103:6-14).10 In contrast to our frail bodies, God’s mercy and grace: “will endure forever, for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ is unto eternal life.” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Ps. 103:17). His eternal offer of salvation is not based upon your obedience (Gal. 2:21). But your obedience should be the fruit of your faith (Jam. 2:14-16; Jo. 14:15; Ps. 103:18).

  • Praise Jesus for making your eternal life with Him possible. God made mankind from dust, and to dust every person will one day return (Gen. 3:19). Thus, David declared “we are nothing but dust.” (Ps. 103:14). Physical bodies will fade “like grass” (Ps. 105:15; 1 Pet. 1:24). “LORD, let me know my end, and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am.” (Ps. 39:4). “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting.” (Ps. 103:17). God’s everlasting mercy includes a path for those who have faith to escape eternal death: “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” (Ps. 16:10). “LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.” (Ps. 30:3). “Into Your hand I entrust my spirit; You have redeemed me, LORD, God of truth.” (Ps. 31:5). “That he might live on eternally, that he might not undergo decay . . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me. Selah” (Ps. 49:9, 15). “He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.” (Ps. 55:18). “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul, which You have redeemed.” (Ps. 71:23). “For Your graciousness toward me is great, and You have saved my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Ps. 86:13). “He sent His word and healed them, and saved them from their destruction.” (Ps. 107:20). “He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit, and my life will see the light.” (Job 33:28). Jesus deserves your praise because of the eternal covenant His offers through faith.

  • Out of love, Jesus died on the cross so that everyone might find eternal life. Out of love, God planned before time began to send Jesus to die on the cross to allow all who believe to have eternal life: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,’” (Jo. 11:25-26; 14:19). Through Jesus, you can “obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1 Pet. 1:4). “And [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’ (Lk. 23:43). Paul “was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” (2 Cor. 12:4). “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” (2 Tim. 1:10). “To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’” (Rev. 2:7b). “The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” (Rev. 21:7). Can others see your gratitude for your salvation?

  • Help to make Jesus’ salvation known to all the nations. Today, Jesus calls upon all believers to spread His offer of salvation to all the nations (Matt. 28:16-20). Are you helping to spread the Good News or paying to help missionaries do this?

7. Sovereignty: Praise Jesus the Sovereign King by Obeying Him. Ps. 103:19-22.

  • David praised God as his sovereign king. Even though David was God’s appointed King of Israel, He praise God as the King of Kings and urged others to obey Him: “19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! 21 Bless the Lord, all you His angels, You who serve Him, doing His will. 22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; bless the Lord, my soul!” (Ps. 103:19-22). “David ended the psalm as he began it, with a call to his own soul to bless God, giving Him the honor and praise due to Him. After the many reasons given in Psalm 103, David had more reasons to bless the LORD at the end of the psalm.” (David Guzik on Ps. 103:22) (emphasis in original).11

  • Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness.  David praised “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” (Ps. 103:19). While David, Solomon, and Israel’s other kings sinned, Jesus never will.  His reign will be perfect, just, and righteous. “1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding . . . with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the humble of the earth; . . . Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.” (Is. 11:1-5). “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.”  (Is. 9:7; 16:5).  “Behold, a king will reign righteously, and officials will rule justly.” (Is. 32:1). ‘“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”’  (Jer. 23:5; Is. 24:15; 42:4; Zech. 9:9-10).  He will deliver His people, and He will cause all things to work together for good (Ro. 8:28).

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Jesus is the sovereign King of Kings who rules from heaven12

  • Every knee will bow and confess Jesus as Lord. Isaiah also prophesied the Messiah’s victory over the rebellious nations: ‘“I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”’ (Is. 45:23). Jesus will fulfill this prophecy when He returns to judge the nations: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” (Phil. 2:10).

  • Jesus is not your Lord if you refuse to do what He says.  David praised God’s angels for “obeying the voice of His word!” (Ps. 103:20). Some may proclaim Jesus as Lord.  But Jesus is not your Lord if you disobey Him:  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”  (Matt. 7:21). “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”  (Lk. 6:46).  “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  (Jam. 1:22).  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  (Matt. 7:24).  “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”  (Matt. 7:26).  If you call Jesus your Lord, is there any area of your life where you are refusing to obey Him?

  1. Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 3 (90-150), Kregel Academic (2016) p. 232.↩︎

  2. Image credit: (142) Pinterest↩︎

  3. James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) p. 231.↩︎