“Bless the LORD, O my soul . . . and forget not all His benefits.”
When you hear the word, benefits, what do we think of first? A comprehensive package that includes health insurance, PTO, vacation, a 401K and severance pay? Likely. But, God’s word has a different benefit plan for His people.
I have long loved this verse (Psalm 103:2) where God’s word admonishes me to “forget not all HIS benefits.” This morning, my thoughts started with this book which led me to read Psalm 103. First of all, I skipped some other Saturday morning activity and made and kept an appointment with solitude and with God — and I’m so glad I did. How can I be so stupid and forget that these are the richest times of any day – alone with God? Anyway, I perused my bookshelf for a devotional and found this: THE DIVINE HOURS – a book written for the contemporary keeping of the traditional Fixed Hours of Prayer – reference “Seven times a day, will I praise You.” (Psalm 119:164). So I read, Psalm 103 – slowly, meditatively.
According to this word, the benefits of God are so vast and they go so far beyond the scope of employment, finances, retirement or even health insurance. God’s benefits go deep into the soul of every individual and stretch into eternity. There is no 401K or human-conceived benefit plan for people that can compete with God’s benefits.
Have you read Psalm 103 yet? Be sure to take a minute and do so, then track with me through this next bit.
- He forgives all your iniquities. I know about iniquities that are an ingrained part of the sinful nature I was born with and that rears its ugly head repeatedly in my life; and this includes the moments when I just miss the mark because I’m flawed, or make a sinful, willful choice of disobedience because I fail. I am prey to the sin nature as long as I live. But GOD, thank you Lord for those words, forgives ALL – and perpetually. His forgiveness is without partiality or period end. He forgives all—all the time—only because HE LOVES all of me—all the time. I have to shout it, “Inconceivable!” (Shameless Princess Bride reference)
- He heals all your diseases – He redeems your life from destruction. Okay, the healing of disease is a poignant subject right now as I travel this thyroid cancer road. I want to heal of course. People pray for my healing, of course. But we don’t demand or command God to act or behave as we insist—do we? Does God heal me of every illness while I live on this earth – right now? Or, better yet, has HE already healed me of the ultimate result of disease—death—and for all eternity? God has redeemed my life from destruction—REDEEMED—my definition – God has taken back something that once belonged to Him (humanity and His creation [Romans 8]) and transformed it into something more beautiful, pure and holy. The blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, has removed decay, death and ultimate destruction of His creation forever—this, again, is God’s eternal benefit with which nothing else can compare.
God’s benefit plan continues with crowning us with lovingkindness and tender mercies, satisfying our mouth with good things so our youth and vitality are renewed like the eagles, executing righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed—Don’t we look forward to living in that reality, especially as we watch the daily happenings in our world?
Psalm 103 goes on—God’s mercy, his compassion toward us, His love and knowledge of us are superior to any other. His benefits are comprehensive! Therefore, we can boldly say, “Bless the LORD, O my soul and forget not all His benefits.”
No matter what is happening in my life today, I cannot and will not forget all HIS benefits. God’s benefit plan is the one that most counts for me today and every day!
I hope you will not skip out on reading this beautiful Psalm – even meditating on it and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you into the comfort and joy God has for you in His word and benefit plan today. Let me know how you feel about it and how you are experiencing the BENEFITS of God today.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!