A Good Psalm for a Rainy Monday Morning

7 Oct

If I read Psalm 103 I start hearing “Gospell” in my head – O Bless the Lord My Soul. It is a great way to start off a rainy Monday morning. And, of course, I love to look at the way Eugene Peterson phrases it.

As humans, I think we are at our best when we are praising God. Hopefully, you had any opportunity yesterday morning to praise God with lots of people around. Our faith history in the scripture tells us again and again to praise God all the time, in all circumstances. I really think it leads to a healthy life and a holy outlook.

1-2 O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!

The psalmist tells us to praise God from head to toe and then give a reason upon reason to praise God.

3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.

I am not as optimistic as the psalmist in believing that God will make everything come out right (human rarely cooperate with this plan), but I believe that when we look at our lives from God’s perspective we can rejoice in the love God shares with us.

6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.

The writer reminds us of the shortness of our lives. The older I get, the more real this idea becomes. So, given the brief time we have on the planet, what better way to spend it than praising God and trying to please God. So often my brain is thinking about what to watch next on TV, or what to buy next, or what work I have to do next. And this is more productive than thinking about how to arrange all the stuff I have, or what mistakes I made yesterday, or what didn’t please me recently. How much better to think about what I can praise God for in my life and how my life could be pleasing to God.

19-22 God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He’s the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.
And you, O my soul, bless God!

So, be alter today. You are God’s children. Your design is to praise God and serve God. Maybe we could try that for today.



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