Day 9: Friday, 15 March
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, 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.
David expresses his personal praise of the God who has cared for him. We’ll cover this psalm over three days. The opening verses tell of a God who is personally involved in each of our lives. Even though David is seeing God through the eyes of the Law he is able to reveal to us a God who cares about each one of us. David calls up praise from his inner being, not just through the medium of a physical response action alone, but from deep within.
David knows from bitter experience that God’s retribution for sinful behaviour is tough, but he knows that when he follows God’s laws from a heart of praise and worship then God will bless him. Forgiveness under the Law demands sacrifice before it can be given, yet David still knows the unutterable joy and freedom that forgiveness brings. David doesn’t differentiate – all sins may be forgiven. Likewise, there is healing, which in David’s day was scarce, but David knew that God could heal any disease.
This is not all. Forgiveness sets you back where you were, placing you back on level ground and closing the hole you had fallen into. David goes further in saying that God lifts us even higher because of his love and compassion for us. He responds to our desires with good things. God wants to bless us!
In Jesus we have forgiveness through repentance. It is no less sweet that we have not had to pay for it. Whoever thinks that they can plan to do wrong and then seek forgiveness for that wrongdoing is committing a sin they haven’t yet understood. Repentance is an action, not a state.
Verse 6 is a one-liner. The Lord is a God of righteousness and justice. He is active in promoting and maintaining these among his people. He is not just a judge who decides whether something is right or wrong – God puts things right, he increases justice and righteousness.
Do you also seek restoration when you seek forgiveness?
Do we have a part to play in God’s working out of verse 6? Do you?
Why would God raise us even higher?
Father God, You are ready to reach down into the pit to lift me out when I turn back to you in repentance. There is no situation awful enough that you will not rescue me from. My soul, praise the Lord!
– the late, great Andrae Crouch.
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version (Anglicised Edition) Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica (formerly International Bible Society). Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, a Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. "NIV" is a registered trademark of Biblica – UK trademark number 1448790.