Have you noticed that in each of the psalms that we’ve been studying the last few weeks, the psalmist speaks to his own soul? In Psalm 42 he asks the question “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” (Psalm 42:5), while in Psalm 62 he instructs his soul to “wait in silence, for my hope is from Him” (Psalm 62:5). Today throughout Psalm 103, we will hear David exclaim: “Bless the Lord, O my soul” (Psalm 103:1, 2, 22). Looking back over these three psalms, we have a testament to how Scripture speaks to the whole range of human emotions: desperation, patient trust, and even joyous praise. Likewise, the hymns this morning will do quite a bit of preaching to our souls. The hymns Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven and Praise To The Lord, The Almighty (both adaptations of Psalm 103) will instruct our souls to praise. Our souls gladly hear the call to prayer (With Joy And Gladness In My Soul—Psalm 122) and are enjoined to look to Jesus for mercy (Come, Ye Souls, By Sin Afflicted). In response to the Lord’s compassion, our soul sings of His greatness (How Great Thou Art). It may seem unusual to think of training one’s innermost emotions and affections. This morning let’s join with David in allowing God’s Word to instruct our souls, following Paul’s command in Philippians 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Bless, Lord, Soul, Steadfast Love, Mercy, Forgives
Keystone Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name! (Psalm 103:1)
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments. 19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His Word, obeying the voice of His Word! 21 Bless the Lord, all His hosts, His ministers, who do His will! 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!