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|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 5:15 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 103:13-18 (KJV) - Just Dust
Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
The word “pitieth” used in the King James Version can be translated “has compassion.” An earthly father may seem to feel the pain of his child, but our Heavenly Father has complete and perfect knowledge and empathy for us. Jesus put Himself in our place by being born on earth as a helpless baby under the authority of a human couple. Since He was completely man as well as completely God, He even experienced pain and betrayal as a man to the point of death on the cross. Since He created us, He did not need to become one of us to feel as we feel, but we needed Him to do that so we would be more capable of believing He truly understands us. He also suffered temptation as we do but remained without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
We are dust? God made us from dirt. When God breathed life into Adam who was made from the dust of the earth, he became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
God’s breath gave vitality and beauty to a man formed of clay. Oxygen is the most prominent element in the human body, and the second is carbon. Believers are basically carbon that the Lord is transforming into jewels. Transforming carbon into jewels takes pressure, so it is sometimes quite uncomfortable, even painful. Since we are God’s creation, He certainly knows all our frailties and shortcomings; so He understands our inability to perfectly keep His commands and has provided the way for us to be redeemed from our sin.
Psalm 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
As with every other living thing on this earth, man’s life here is temporal. The words of this psalm sound familiar because they are echoed in our recent study of 1 Peter:
1 Peter 1:23-25 (KJV) 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Life here is brief, but there is more than this life. If we are striving only for what this world has to offer, we will be disappointed. No matter how famous, no matter how wealthy, no matter how outwardly successful we seem to be, none of that will matter when we face the Lord.
James 1:9-11 (NASB) But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
In light of this, what is the main thing we need to cultivate in our time here on earth? Foremost, our relationship with Jesus, trusting Him for salvation. And secondly, our relationship with others, sharing Jesus with people and developing loving bonds with other believers. These are the only things that will transfer with us to Heaven, the only things of importance to the Lord. These are the only eternal investments we can make.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NASB) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Psalm 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; 18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
Those who trust, rely on, and submit to Jesus receive God’s mercy forever. As our earthly shell fades, we will enter the glorious presence of the Lord. In the day of resurrection, these earthly faded bodies will finally be transformed into something more fantastic than we can imagine. God’s mercy outlives our lives on earth when we have trusted Him. It extends to our successive generations as long as they, too, trust in Him. This promise is contingent upon the future generations continuing to commit themselves to the Lord and follow in His way, which is why it is so important for us to train our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Reformation Study Bible
103:17 steadfast love . . . on those who fear him. There is a reciprocal relationship between divine initiative and human response. God first loves us, then we love Him in return as shown in the faithful obedience of our lives (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10).
Questions: Do you continue to let Satan beat you up over past failures? God knows you are basically mud. Follow the instructions of 1 John 1:9 and be cleansed. Are you caught up in worldly success to the neglect of your spiritual well-being? Remember to lay up treasure in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
|Posted on September 14, 2016 at 1:10 PM||comments (0)|
Psalm 103:6-12 (KJV) - The Character of God
Psalm 103:6-19 expounds upon the attributes of God.
Expositor's Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): Old Testament
God’s rule is characterized by grace.
Psalm 103:6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
From what oppression had God delivered the nation of Israel under the leadership of Moses? The Israelites had become enslaved by Egypt after the death of Joseph and the rise of a pharaoh who had not known Joseph. God used Moses and his brother Aaron as His instruments to lead His people Israel out of this captivity. This Psalm was probably written by David in his later years. Can you give an example or two of how God delivered David? He delivered David from the lion, the bear, and the giant, Goliath. He protected him from the sword and spear of King Saul. God protected David from various enemies of Israel in many battles. We can all relate to the fact that God delivered David from the oppression of his sin and his guilt.
Psalm 103:7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
He gave Moses the Ten Commandments and the entire book of Leviticus as well as the rest of the first five books of the Bible to instruct the Israelites in His ways. God gave the Law to His chosen people that they might be set apart from the world and live to honor Him. What does David mean by “acts”. This is referring to all the miraculous things the Lord did in order to bring them to the Promised Land – the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, Pharoah’s army drowned as the waters covered over them, the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that led them, manna in the wilderness, water from the rock, etc.
103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
When the Israelites complained about not having food in the wilderness, did God zap them? No, He provided manna each day to meet their needs. When they did not believe Joshua and Caleb and were afraid to enter the promised land because of giants, God made them wander in the wilderness for 40 more years. Did He make them fend for themselves during that time? He graciously continued to provide for their needs.
Nehemiah 9:20 (VOICE) In 40 years of living in the wilderness, You provided for every need they had: Their clothing did not wear out, nor did their feet swell from endless walking.
God showed mercy and grace to them even though they were not faithful. When David totally blew it by committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband, Uriah, killed, there were consequences – their first child died in infancy. However, David repented (read Psalm 51). The Lord still used him, and the Messiah was one of his descendants. God is just, but He is also merciful.
Psalm 103:9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.
Although the Lord is slow to anger there will eventually come a time of accountability. Remember the story of Noah. What happened to the people who would not listen to Noah and join him in the ark? They all drowned because they did not listen to God’s spokesman. They thought they knew better than Noah did. God had given them ample time while Noah was building the Ark. God gave man 120 years from when He first told Noah to build a ship for all the animals, but He may or may not have been building that amount of time. At any rate, the people had more than fair warning, and refused to heed that warning.
What about for people today…will there be a day that God says, “No more time to come to Me.”? Every person faces the day that life on this earth ends. If they have not surrendered their lives to Jesus before they die, they will face the consequences of rejecting God. At that point, there is no more opportunity to repent.
Psalm 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
If God dealt with men according to their sins, Adam and Eve would have been vaporized immediately; and there would be no more human race. If He dealt with us according to our sins, it would be us being tortured to death rather than Jesus. For those who reverence, fear, respect, exalt the Lord, the Lord is merciful. There is no way we can earn God’s pardon, but in mercy He provided the sacrifice for our sins – His Son, Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
When we place our trust in the finished work of Jesus’ death and resurrection, God extends grace to us. He gives us the abundant, eternal life we could never earn or deserve.
John 10:10 (NASB) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
How far is the east from the west? The distance from east to west is immeasurable. In other words, when we confess our sins and repent, God removes them completely.
1 John 1:9 (NASB) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Application: Throughout history God has revealed His nature and His expectations of man in many ways – through creation, through the written word, and through the testimony of those who have trusted Him. People will be held accountable for this knowledge. Each person must face the Creator of the universe at some point. Those who have trusted Jesus Christ, will be covered by grace and enter into eternal reward. Those who have rejected Jesus (ignoring Him is rejection as well), will face eternal punishment. Are you ready for that day? If you are not absolutely sure, please contact us through the website or talk with a pastor, Sunday School teacher, or close Christian friend. DO NOT WAIT.