Psalm 103 - As high as the heavens

Psalm 103 - As high as the heavens

Read: Psalm 103 vs 1-22

Do you ever talk to yourself? Ever find yourself driving the car, or standing in the kitchen, or walking out of the house and you are deep in conversation … with yourself! In Psalm 103 we get an opportunity to listen in as David talks to himself. The Psalm opens with a call to ‘Praise the LORD’. In the Bible God’s name matters and God’s name is to be used thoughtfully and careful. The third commandment warns us against mis-using the name of the LORD or throwing it around in an empty way. In New Testament times when the early church sent Christians out to share the good news, it sent them out ‘for the sake of the Name’ (3 John vs 7). 

In this Psalm of praise David tells himself to praise the LORD’s holy name with all his inmost being. As David talks to himself he looks back over his life and he has much to be thankful of. In vs 2-6 David lists the ‘benefits’ that he has known from God’s hand, sins forgiven, healing in time of sickness, lifting up in times of despair, desires satisfied, strength renewed. 

The thing is of course our own experiences of life can point in two different directions. We can ‘read’ our own experiences in a way that causes us (like David here) to praise God, or we can read our own stories in ways that cause us to be annoyed, even bitter with God. There is a place for looking back and thanking God for all He has done for us, and telling ourselves to praise God as a result. But actually we need more … we need to know more stories, not just our own story, if we are to confidently have grounds for praising God’s name.

So in the remainder of this Psalm David recalls the great stories from the history of Israel going back to Moses. Ultimately it is the stories of the Bible that give us the big picture to confidently know that god is compassionate and gracious (vs 8) and that He is loving and good (vs 17-18).

It’s good to talk to ourselves, but it’s important that we don’t just talk about ourselves. Psalm 103 encourages us to talk to ourselves about what God has done, and to praise His holy Name.

Prayer: Father Your Name is holy and I praise You today. Thank You for all the blessings You have given me. Thank You that the Bible teaches me that I can trust You with my past, my present and my future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.