Monday, May 6, 2013

Psalm 103 - For those who Fear Him


Orange tulip


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.
Psalm 103:13-18
__________


As we have seen Psalm 103 is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise.  It begins a single person's  praise to God and continues with group praise to God.  It finishes with the praise of  both heaven and earth. These next six verses of Psalm 103 continue the group praise to our God.

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Like the good father, our Father in Heaven shows compassion to his children.  Psalm 130:13  The pagan Gods are not compassionate. They are indifferent to the people's circumstances and needs. They are apathetic or hostile. Our God is compassionate and merciful. This compassion is for His children.  This is unearned compassion.  We find ourselves trying so hard to make ourselves more fit for His love and compassion.  We cannot make ourselves more deserving of His love. He has first loved us and He freely gives us His compassion.

This compassion is for those who fear Him, for His children.  One tends to shy away from this phrase - "fear the Lord."  Are we really supposed to be afraid of God?  In the Old Testament the word most often used is the verb יָרֵא  yare.  It is a verb, so therefore denotes action.  In this, and most instances in the Bible, the object of the action is God. The word fear can mean terror, awe, or reverence.  The context in which the word is found determines the understanding of the word.  Fear as reverence and worship is the proper response to our Lord.  If God is your Father, if you are His child, you should worship and revere Him.  If you do not know Christ as your Savior, you are not a child of God.  If you are not a child of God, you most definitely should be in terror of His judgement.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:14   God cares for His people.  God knows us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  God knows us because He made us, He knows how we were formed. God created us from the dust.  Genesis 2:7  How merciful God is to us who are only 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.  Psalm 103:15-16   What a contrast between God and man.  We are like grass.  Humans are like a short-lived flower – here today and gone tomorrow. We flourish for but a short time, then return to dust that is scattered by the wind. Our lives are short and transient.  We are gone and forgotten. We are weak.  God is eternal powerful and omniscient.  He knows us, yet He shows us mercy and love.  How can we not praise Him!

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.  Psalm 103-17-18  God is patient with us. God remains faithful to His own. God shows us His compassion.  The eternal God loves us and gives eternity to those who love him.  For those who fear Him, God will change them from dust to glory. We must go to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Our sins will either be separated from us forever or will be our condemnation.  God will either be our Savior or or Judge. Which is He for you?




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