The Gospel According to Psalms: Remember Redemption (Psalm 103)

Remember Redemption to Lead Us to Worship (verses 1-2)

We all have a natural propensity to forget information. Whether it’s forgetting an item on a
grocery list or forgetting a birthday of a loved one, we can all recall a situation in which we had
a difficult time remembering something. This becomes a serious problem when we connect this
to our relationship with Jesus. Because of our fallen condition, we often fail to remember the
redemption we’ve been provided by Jesus. David begins this Psalm by crying out to His own
Soul, his entire being to Praise the Lord. He’s not interested in mere lip service. He wants his
whole self to be caught up in Worship to His King. To do that, he encourages his soul to “forget
not” God’s benefits (vs. 2). The Hebrew word for benefits can be translated to recompense, or
to pay back for wrong done. In other words, David is encouraging His soul to Praise the Lord
by remembering how God has not paid him back for the wrong He has committed against Him!
That’s a merciful God. The next several verses describe exactly the “benefits” that God has
given to David and all of us who are in Christ Jesus.

Remember Redemption provided for us Individually (verses 3-5)

David proceeds to remind his soul about what God has done for him personally. The next
several verses should stir our hearts and cause us to cry out to the Lord in gratitude for the
love and mercy He has shown each one of us. It’s not coincidence that the first benefit that we
have received is forgiveness of sins. The greatest obstacle that keeps us from God is the sin
that we have committed against him. But in Christ, ALL of our sins have been forgiven,
because the payment due for those sins has fully been paid on the cross. There is not one sin
that you or I have committed that has not been forgiven by the Father if we are in Christ! God
also redeems (rescues) us from death and crowns us with the greatest crown we could
possibly have…His unwavering love and mercy. That crown is far better than a crown of gold
and jewels that can rust and ruin. We have been made coheirs with Christ and have received
royal status as adopted sons and daughters of God! Knowing this, should continually satisfy
our longing souls (vs. 4-5). But does it? We may state that it does but we often act as if. It
doesn’t. So often we turn to other sources for satisfaction and longing when God himself and
His steadfast love is truly the only source that can fill our longing souls.

Remember Redemption provided for us Corporately (verses 6-14)

If you read the pronouns in the second part of this psalm, you will notice that they shift from
singular to plural. God has not only saved you and me, but He has saved a people for himself!
He has been gracious to the multitudes, because that is who He is! He is full of steadfast love
and mercy (vs 8). Just as He was when he revealed this to Moses after the Israelites fashioned
a golden calf our of their treasures, He still is gracious and slow to anger with us today. Unlike
how we treat one another when we are wronged, God doesn’t chide with us, or as the NIV
states “continually accuse us” (vs. 9). He is quick to forgive us and forget the wrong that we’ve
done to him, because he doesn’t deal with us according to our sins (vs. 10). What a gracious
and merciful God we serve! It’s not as. Though our sins don’t deserve payment because they
absolutely do. But, if we have trusted in Jesus, then the payment has been made in full by
Jesus who was put forward to satisfy God’s judgement against sin (Romans 3:25). This is the
heart of our redemption! Our identity is no longer in our sins or our past, but in the loving
acceptance of God through Jesus. God has put away our sins and removed the from our
record (vs 12). That’s the best news we could ever get! Even in the midst of our forgetfulness,
God remembers us and is compassionate because of His redemptive love He has shown us in
Jesus.

Study Questions

  1. Read Deuteronomy 4:5-9, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, 2 Peter 1:12-14. These verses are just a
    few that encourage us to not forget (remember) what God has done for us. Why do we have
    a natural tendency to forget what has been done for us? Discuss the implications of this as
    it relates to our relationship with Jesus.
  2. Read Psalm 103:1-2. Our hearts often need to be stirred in worship and gratitude towards
    God. Why should we be stirred in worship when we remember the gospel?
  3. Read Psalm 103:9-10. Discuss the differences between how we treat others when we are
    wronged by them and how God treats us when we have wronged him? How should this
    change our relationships with others.
  4. Read Romans 8:31-39 and Psalm 103:11-12. We often attempt to place ourselves under the
    weight and condemnation of our sin even though we would claim we have been forgiven.
    How do these verses speak to God’s forgiveness and acceptance of us even when we sin?
    How should we respond in light of God’s forgiveness?