Monday, November 26, 2007

"Praise the LORD, o my soul."

Bill's been thankful for Isaiah 35 recently.

I have been loving the gloriously heavy gospel of Psalm 103.
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 iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!

I am thankful that even my sinful heart is one of the places of his dominion, and that because no place is outside of his dominion, he can discard my sin into the furthest reaches of the void.

This thought occurred to me yesterday as I was drivin' and thinkin', my brain gnawing on the gospel like a dog does a bone:
We human beings who cannot see the depths of another person's heart and know all there is to know about their failings treat each other so judgmentally and with such condemnation, yet God sees the very depths of our sins past, present, and future, and moreover, has the actual perfect holiness and authority from which to be infinitely offended and justifiably condemnatory, and yet offers up himself as a gift of forgiveness and grace.
That blows my mind. That makes me want to praise from the bottom of my soul.

When we fail to forgive others, we reckon ourselves better than God.

1 comment:

brent said...


I am just seeing your post... and it is a beautiful follow-up to my morning meditation. I committed v1-14 to memory about a month ago - because they are so rich. Though most of it flows easily off of my lips... I was struggling with remembering the wording of the "benefits".

Today they jumped out clearly - and the order is now cemented in by little brain: "forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, and satisfies" - the gospel in a nutshell! Praise the LORD, o my soul!!