Psalm 103

Psalm 103

The book of Psalms gives us such great insight into the deep emotions felt by David. It allows us to see how his soul felt when he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. It helps us to vividly see what he thought about as he stared into the firmament and the heavens and saw God’s glory. Have you ever considered what was in the heart of this godly man as he worshiped? Psalm 103 gives at least eighteen reasons he approached God with a heart filled with awe and reverence.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul.”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul.”

The psalm begins with the words, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” The Hebrew word for bless literally means to kneel, and when applied to us and our God, it specifically indicates an act of adoration toward Him. David came before God with his soul kneeling toward the Almighty. If you asked David why he worshiped God, he could give you the following reasons.

Reasons to Kneel Before God

1. He forgives all my iniquities and heals me (v. 3).
2. He redeems my life from destruction (v. 4).
3. He crowns me with lovingkindness and mercy (v. 4).
4. He satisfies my mouth with good things (v. 5).
5. He renews me (v. 5).
6. He executes righteousness and justice for all (v. 6).
7. He made known His ways and actions (v. 7).
8. He is merciful and gracious to me (v. 8).
9. He is slow to anger and abounding in mercy to me (v. 8).
10. He does not strive always with me or stay angry (v. 9).
11. He does not deal with me according to my sins (v. 10).
12. He does not punish me according to my iniquities (v. 10).
13. His mercy is great toward me (v. 11).
14. He has removed my transgressions from me as far as the east is from the west (v. 12).
15. He shows His compassion and pity to me like a loving father shows pity to his children (v. 13).
16. He knows my frame and remembers that I am dust (v. 14).
17. Man is like grass, the flower of the field, wind blows and it is gone and forgotten, but His mercy toward me is from everlasting to everlasting (v. 16).
18. His righteousness reaches me and even to my grandchildren (v. 17).

As the psalm ends, David calls upon all the angels to bless Him, to kneel as an act of adoration toward God. He calls upon all the armies of heaven and the heavenly servants to bless Jehovah. He looks at all that God has done and calls upon all His works which manifest His power to bless him. The man after God’s own heart then turns inward and calls upon himself to kneel before God. In doing this, he calls upon you. “Bless the Lord, O my soul!”

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Searching for Salvation

Where is God?

When things were good, and he had been blessed, the King David praises God and gives thanks. When things were bad, and he was distressed, he wonders where God is and cries out for His salvation (Psalm 22:1). But through it all, good and bad, he puts his trust in the Lord. He knows that it is God who sustains, blesses, and protects him. Even when he doesn’t feel God’s presence.

Look to God for Salvation.

Look to God for Salvation.

Be still, cleanse your hands from all iniquity, purify your heart, be humble, and be honest. When David cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” God was in the same place He was when Jesus cried those same words (Matthew 27:46). God was there then and He is here now and His desire will be done. Look to Him for salvation, trust in Him, obey Him, and be faithful!

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Circumcision: The sign of the Covenant

Circumcision: The sign of the Covenant

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Buried with him in baptism.

Buried with him in baptism.

Colossians 2:11-12

In order to understand this weekend’s passage of scripture, let’s back up to the Old Testament and go all the way back to the beginning…Genesis.  In Genesis chapter 17, we read of God making a covenant (agreement) with Abraham that the Holy Land, the land of Canaan, would always belong to Abraham’s descendants as long as they obeyed him.  The “sign of the covenant” would be the circumcision in the flesh of every male at least eight days old (vs. 10-14).  Abraham immediately made sure that he and his entire family were circumcised that same day (vs. 22-27).  This was the basis for the law in the Torah which required that all Jews be circumcised (Lev. 12:3).

Thousands of years later during the early days of the church, Jewish Christians who had converted out of Judaism were trying to bring tenets of Judaism into Christianity.  Circumcision was one of these tenets (Acts 15; Gal. 1-6).  Paul made it clear that physical circumcision was not required to be a Christian like it was in order to be a Jew.  However, the Holy Spirit inspired him to use the Jews’ mindset of circumcision being a sign that they had a covenant with God to teach a very important lesson about baptism in the book of Colossians.  This brings us to our Scripture of the Weekend.

Much of Colossians dealt with Paul reassuring Gentile Christians that they did not have to obey all the laws of Judaism in order to be Christians.  While doing so, he told them that they, like all Christians, had been filled in Christ, who is the head of all rule and authority (Col. 2:10).  Notice what he said next in our Scripture of the Weekend, Colossians 2:11-12:  “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Think about this for a second.  We are not under the covenant God made with Israel.  That was taken out of the way at the cross (Col. 2:14), and we are under a new covenant (Heb. 8:6-13), Christ’s covenant.  But just like physical circumcision was required as a sign of the old covenant, God still requires “circumcision” of a sort as a sign in the new covenant.  But this is not a literal, fleshly, physical circumcision.  No, Paul says that it is a spiritual circumcision, “made without hands.”  He then clarifies it has having occurred when one was baptized – literally “immersed” in the Greek – in water.

From Abraham to the beginning of the church, God and everyone else would know whether or not one was a Jew if they were physically circumcised.  Today, does God and everyone else recognize you to be a Christian?  Baptism after repentance (Acts 2:38) which was brought on by faith (Mark 16:16) is the key, the key to salvation and forgiveness of sins.  It is only through baptism that one is spiritually buried with Christ to rise again to a new life (Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3-4).  It is only through baptism that one puts on Christ and becomes a child of God (Gal. 3:26-27).  It is only through baptism that the Holy Spirit adds you to Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:13), that body being His church (Eph. 1:22-23), of which there is only one in the sight of God (Eph. 4:4-6), not the many found in the numerous sects and denominations of Christendom today.

Have you been spiritually circumcised?  Are you truly a Christian in the sight of God?

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