May 18, 2022

JD Wilhelm
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,"
Psalm 103:1-4

Psalm 103 is one of the most familiar and well-loved of all the psalms. For good reason too! One of the most repeated words throughout the psalm is the word “all.” The word is used so much because Psalm 103 is intended to be comprehensive in nature. It is meant to affirm that God, who rules over all and does all good things for those who are in need, is to be praised by all in all. That can be a confusing way of stating it. Said another way, the repeated use of the word “all” connotes a holistic form of worship wherein we are called to give the entirety of our being in worship to God. Now, why would we do so? The psalmist tells us that God has forgiven our iniquity, he has healed our diseases, and he has redeemed us from the pit. Instead of condemnation, God now crowns us with steadfast love and mercy.

This theme is the most apparent in the cross of Christ. Throughout the Biblical narrative, we see God’s righteous demand for obedience. We also know full well that human beings are incapable of living up to God’s standard of righteousness. So in the cross of Christ, we see the immeasurability of God’s grace demonstrated for us in his willingness to die on a cross for our sin. His willingness to do what we could not do for ourselves. The cross indicates the great cost to God and demands all of our lives as well. Worshiping God with all of our being is our response to God’s great grace.