1 – Psalm 101:1 (ESV)
1 I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
RAF: It is good to remember that one necessary aspect of worship is our singing “to” God. This is how David begins his thought here. I will sing of steadfast love and justice; TO YOU, O Lord. I wonder if our worship might not grow to be much more vibrant and heartfelt if we worshiped in this way. If we sang as though we were directly before Him, and singing our songs to Him. If we were asked to sing before the President of our nation, what preparation would go before. We wouldn’t be haphazard or half-hearted. We would rise to the occasion. So it ought to be with our worship. Let us approach worship, even as we approach our Lord Himself. And let us sing TO Him.
2 – Psalm 101 (ESV) Entire
RAF: The structure of this Psalm is good to grasp.
David announces his intent to sing to the Lord, and that, specifically noting two things:
a. God’s love.
b. God’s justice.
And it is these two things (God’s love & justice) that are the impetus for the behaviors he mentions next. In other words, because of how he is loved by God, and how he knows God must deal with sin – these inform his actions in the world. In the first place, he wants a life responding to God’s love and in the second, he does not want to do that which requires His God to deal with him in justice.
Those two things before him, he then aims to ponder a way of living that is blameless. What that might look like. And watch how it moves from the private life to relationships to the public sector.
a. To walk with integrity even when at home and unseen by others. (2)
b. Not to set worthless things before his eyes. (3)
c. Not to indulge in the actions of those who fall away from God. (3)
d. To keep keep his heart straight – having affection for that which is in concert with walking with God. (4)
e. Not to fix his time and attention on investigating that which is evil. (4)
f. Challenging injustice in society. (5)
g. Avoiding the company of the proud and arrogant. (5)
h. Favoring the company of the ones who are faithful to God. (6)
i. Seeking out the help and counsel of “blameless” men. (6)
j. Refusing to associate with deceitful men. (7)
k. Refusing to associate with liars. (7)
l. Actively seeking justice for evildoers in society. (8)
m. Seeking to see that the influence of evildoers on society is removed. (8)
3 – Psalm 102:25-28 (ESV)
25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you.
RAF: These words close a Psalm which is rooted in great distress. The writer has been afflicted by God because of sin. And, the writer makes his appeal to the very one who is afflicting him. It seems counter- intuitive. But he finds the basis for fleeing to the very one whose hand he is suffering under, because he knows what we read in these closing verses above. This God can be fled to – even if it is His hand which is heavy upon us – because of His unchanging character. He can be counted upon to forgive, and to heal. He can always be trusted to be full of mercy. His love cannot be diminished. His heart toward His children is always open to their cries. Because He cannot change – He can be trusted. O what a great God we serve!
4 – Psalm 103:2-3 (ESV)
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
RAF: There is no species of sin beyond the power of His forgiveness.
There is no species of suffering brought on by sin, that is beyond His mercy to heal.
This is our God.
5 – Psalm 103:5 (ESV)
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
RAF: Oh how we try to satisfy our desires with wicked things, that bring pain and destruction. And how He delights to satisfy our desires with good things which bring refreshing, renewal and life. Look to Him. Look to Him. Look to Him.
6 – Psalm 103:13-14 (ESV)
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
RAF: Do not miss the Psalmist’s (the Holy Spirit’s) point here. We imagine God’s attitude toward our sin to be monolithic. Anger, wrath, disgust etc. But here, we are given the most astounding insight. God has COMPASSION on our failings. Compassion. As much as His justice is aroused when we sin, so too His compassion toward is aroused. For He is ever mindful that we cannot come into contact with sin without its producing all manner of pain and destruction. And He is always compassionate toward our suffering, even when we bring it on ourselves. He remembers we are but mortal, and cannot endure it.
See: 1 Corinthians 5:2
7 – Psalm 104:1 (ESV) Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
RAF: Take time to meditate on the theme of this Psalm. The simple point is – if God administrates His universe from the grandest scale of the sun and the earth, and to the smallest scale of making sure even the wild animals on land and sea are fed and cared for – then how much more is He invested in the lives of His saints? O if we could just catch a glimpse of it.