Praise the Lord, O my soul! – a sermon on psalm 103 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
Have you ever been disappointed in God? That’s a situation many people find themselves in today. In his book “Disappointment with God” the author Philip Yancey speaks of the many letters that he’s received from people who express their disappointment in God. Some said that they’d believed in God and trusted Him, but things just didn’t work out as they thought it would – they were disappointed with God. One had suffered through his parents’ divorce despite praying what felt like a thousand times that they’d be reconciled. Another had lost a child. Yet another just wasn’t able to be happy and felt that God just didn’t care. Instead of praising God, the letter-writers doubted or rejected or even hated Him. Yancey points out that many of these people were disappointed because they had been trusting God for things that He never promised—namely, to preserve them from pain and sorrow in this life. Furthermore, he notes, even when people get what they want, they usually fail to praise and thank God. You see, whether we are in need or we are blessed with abundance, whether in joy or in sorrow, we need help remembering to praise the Lord.
And this is what David does in this psalm. The psalm begins and ends with David urging his inner self to praise the Lord. In the middle of the psalm he gives the reasons why this praise should be offered up. So in the first 5 verses we find a call to worship. The next 13 verses speak about the Lord’s love and compassion before the final 4 verses again ring with a call to worship.
- Call to worship (1-5);
- The Lord’s love and compassion (6-18); and
- Call to worship (19-22).