Reflections

Forgetfulness. Of the worst sort.

A reflection on Psalm 103:1-5
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Do we not have reasons to praise God? To bless Him forever?

He forgives all our sins… heals all our diseases (at least in the ultimate picture He does)… He redeems our lives from the pit… He crowns us with love and compassion… He satisfies our desires with good things… renewing our youth…

I don’t know about you but I’m much better at focusing on what is wrong, what I fail at, what I don’t have, what I perceive I need… I am much better at that, then at praising the Lord with all my soul, remembering His incredible goodness, mercy, and kindness to me.

But I suspect the Psalmist also struggled with this…

He says… “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits”

Why does he say this?

Because his danger was that he would easily forget (as I do) all God’s benefits – all God’s kind deeds towards us.

It really is amazing how forgetful we can be. Yesterday I was enthralled and captivated by God’s amazing and incredible love for me and yet today I can wake unaware of it and yet so aware of every other thing I am facing or struggling with.

This is why the Psalmist calls on his very own soul – ‘all my inmost being’ he says, Praise His Holy Name!’ Don’t forget His blessings, His mercy, His goodness, His love…

Oh, and we have seen (by faith) more than the Psalmist ever saw! We have seen God’s love and compassion displayed in the most incredible, unrivalled, and unbelievable way: God ‘loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10),

Amazing? Yes! Praiseworthy? What could be more! Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!’

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Reflections

Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Reflection on Psalm 86:11-13
“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”

I was reflecting on this Psalm this week and praying it to God for myself and for others.

Teach me your way, O Lord, not my way. Teach me how you want me to live. Because it’s so easy to look to everything other than God for how we should live.

To others around us, to our parents, to the television. Truth be told there may be some good examples – there are – but no example will be perfect and many will be unhelpful.

We need the Lord to teach us how we are to live. We have no better teacher. One who is perfect and One who has given us His word so that we might know how it is that we are to live. Living lives that reflect His Son the Lord Jesus.

‘Unite my heart to fear your name’. To fear God is to take in the truth about God and respond in that light. To understand that God is holy and righteous and perfectly good and that we are not.

That He is mighty and that we deserve because of our sin to be cut off from Him forever – but that in His great and amazing love He sent His Son to save us from our sins and bring us back into relationship with Him.

So, this prayer is a prayer for a right response to Who God is and what He has done. It’s a response of awe, of wonder, of reverence.

Because when we understand how great His steadfast love is for us, undeserving as we are – that He has delivered our souls from death we can’t hold back from singing with the Psalmist: “O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”