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Don't Be Forgetful
by Kristin Schoeff
Do you ever talk to yourself? I do, more than I like to admit! But rarely do my conversations with myself have as powerful a spiritual impact as David’s self-talk at the beginning of Psalm 103:
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.
My soul – my emotions, my intellect, everything that makes me “me” inside my earthly body –
can be the dwelling place of negative thoughts and feelings, discouragement and sometimes even depression and despair. It’s so easy to ruminate on the negative things that can press in on my soul.
David, the writer of this Psalm, had more opportunities than I to experience these overwhelmingly negative feelings. Anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the future King of Israel, he had to run for his life to escape the murderous threats from King Saul. David’s son Absalom later led a revolt against King David and once again he had to flee for his life. He was hounded and betrayed by friends and family, but perhaps the greatest darkness he dealt with was when he was confronted about his own staggering sin with Bathsheba: committing adultery with another man’s wife and arranging to have Bathsheba’s husband killed to cover up the first sin when Bathsheba found herself pregnant by David. Dark stuff!!!!
With all this backstory, David knows what it is to experience God’s deliverance, His salvation, His forgiveness. So he begins Psalm 103 telling ALL his inmost being to bless the Lord’s holy name.
David tells his soul what to do, despite anything that might be coming against him. He chooses to praise the Lord, and to not forget the many benefits that come from walking with Him. And the very first one he lists is:
3. Who forgives all your sins.
Think of how thrilling it was to a man who knew so well that he’d been guilty of breaking so many of God’s commandments – “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery….You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…” – to be able to say with assurance that God forgives ALL his sins!!!
You, too, can be lifted into a place of rejoicing in all the mercy and grace that the Lord shows you each day as you follow David in praising the Lord – telling your soul to get on board with all that is within you – and thanking Him for all He is and all He has done for you. He forgives all your sins! He brings healing, hope, and He satisfies you with good things.
Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits!
Dear Heavenly Father, let me not forget to thank you for all your mercy and grace, for forgiving all my sins, healing me and crowning my life with so many good things, most of all with your limitless love. Praise the Lord, my soul, and all my inmost being, praise his holy name!!!