- we are dust (Psalm 103:14)
- our days are like grass (Psalm 103:15)
- and our life will soon pass away (Psalm 103:16)
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I was ready for a pick-me-up. And let me tell you, our verses this week are a welcome encouragement. Some of the verses that most encourage me begin with “But God...” or “But the Lord…”. We have been meditating on the frailty and brevity of life but the story doesn’t end there. There is hope!
But the Mercy of the LORD is From Everlasting to Everlasting (Psalm 103:17)
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting! This is the width of God’s mercy. Back in week 6, http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/2012/07/psalm-103-summer-memory-challenge-how.html we saw the height of God’s mercy “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:11) Something interesting I noticed between these two verses that together reveal the height and width of God’s mercy is in both God’s mercy is for: those who fear Him.
Pastor Chuck Smith identifies the recipients of God’s mercy this way:
1. Those that fear or reverence Him.
2. Those that keep His covenants and remember His commandments to do them. And this is His commandment, that we believe on the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 3:23)
On Those Who Fear Him (Psalm 103:17)
Matthew Henry does and incredible job elaborating on the recipients of God’s mercy, saying:
“First, They live a life of faith; for they keep God’s covenant; having taken hold of it, they keep hold of it, fast hold, and will not let it go. They keep it as a treasure, keep it as their portion, and would not for all the world part with it, for it is their life. Secondly, They live a life of obedience; they remember his commandments to do them, else they do not keep his covenant. Those only shall have the benefit of God’s promises that make conscience of his precepts. See who those are that have a good memory, as well as a good understanding (Ps. 111:10), those that remember God’s commandments, not to talk of them, but to do them, and to be ruled by them. The continuance of the mercy which belongs to such as these; it will last them longer than their lives on earth, and therefore they need not be troubled though their lives be short, since death itself will be no abridgment, no infringement, of their bliss. God’s mercy is better than life, for it will out-live it.And His Righteousness to Children’s Children (Psalm 103:17)
Spurgeon proclaims, “Mercy to those with whom the Lord makes a covenant is guaranteed by righteousness; it is because he is just that he never revokes a promise, or fails to fulfill it. Our believing sons and their seed for ever will find the word of the Lord the same: to them will he display his grace and bless them even as he has blessed us.”
God’s mercy is so abundant and far reaching that it will not only last our lifetime, but will go on to bless even my children’s children—my future grand kids. As a mother of a preschooler, this is amazing to consider.
To Such as Keep His Covenant, and to Those Who Remember His Commandments to Do Them (Psalm 103:18)
It’s important to note that our kids and grand kids cannot ride on the coattails of our salvation. They must personally accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior to receive God’s mercy, as well as the other benefits we’ve discovered throughout Psalm 103.
Charles Spurgeon explains,
“Children of the righteous are not, however, promised the Lord's mercy without stipulation, and this verse completes the statement of the last by adding: To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The parents must be obedient and the children too. We are here bidden to abide by the covenant, and those who run off to any other confidence than the finished work of Jesus are not among those who obey this precept; those with whom the covenant is really made stand firm to it, and having begun in the Spirit, they do not seek to be made perfect in the flesh. The truly godly keep the Lord's commands carefully—they "remember"; they observe them practically—"to do them": moreover they do not pick and choose, but remember "his commandments" as such, without exalting one above another as their own pleasure or convenience may dictate. May our offspring be a thoughtful, careful, observant race, eager to know the will of the Lord, and prompt to follow it fully, then will his mercy enrich and honour them from generation to generation.”This verse really shows the need for memorizing God’s Word not only for ourselves, but for our children as well. As I read “Those who remember His commandments to do them.” (Psalm 103:18) it hit me that to do God’s commandments I first need to remember them. They need to be fresh in my mind and at the forefront of my thoughts. If not, I will easily forget what He’s called me to, struggle to live a godly life, and fall into trials that remembering and obeying God’s commands would have kept me from. His commands are not to burden us, but to protect us and to enable us to live life to its fullest and be spared headaches and heartaches and life that are completely avoidable simply by remembering and obeying God’s commands.
When Satan tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, He was able to get her to second-guess herself and her God because she did not remember God’s command to do it. (Genesis 3) She was familiar with God’s command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, but had she committed God’s command to her memory, when Satan was questioning God’s command, she would have been able to say with full assurance that she was absolutely not to eat the fruit of that tree because if she did she would surely die. God never said she would die from touching the fruit. But that is what Eve told the serpent because she didn’t have a solid knowledge of God’s Word. She was simply familiar with it. Familiar is good. It’s better than not knowing it at all. But in Eve’s case, Satan was able to see where she lacked knowledge and used it to create doubt and confusion in her mind concerning God and His Word. The more we know God’s Word, the less likely we will be deceived by Satan, or anyone else. This is just one reason why memorizing Scripture is so essential for us and our kids.
Just for this week…
Verses to Memorize
Daily Memorization Plan
1. Review last week’s verses first (Psalm 103:15-16) by reciting them 10 times (look at your Bible if you need to.)
2. Review old verses altogether (Psalm 103:1-16) by reciting it once through.
3. Read Psalm 103:17 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.
4. Read Psalm 103:18 out loud 10 times, then recite the verse 10 times.
Question for You: What are your favorite Scripture memory tips or helps for hiding God’s Word in your heart?
Psalm 103 Memory Challenge Quick LinksFor tips and helps in memorizing your verses this week, check out the previous posts for the Psalm 103 Memory Challenge:
Introduction to Memorizing Psalm 103
Week 1: Psalm 103:1-2 Remembering God’s Faithfulness.
Week 2 (Part 1): Psalm 103:3 There's No god Like Our God!
Week 2 (Part 2) Psalm 103:4 Oh, How He Loves Us!
Week 3 (Part 1) Psalm 103:5 Strength For The Weary
Week 3 (Part 2) Psalm 103:6 God Will Give You Justice!
Week 4 (Part 1) Psalm 103:7 God Makes Himself Known!
Week 4 (Part 2) Psalm 103:8 Mercy in Abundance!
Week 5: Psalm 103:9-10 Better Than I Deserve!
Week 6: Psalm 103:11-12 How High and Wide is God's Mercy For Us!
Week 7: Psalm 103:13-14 God's Loving Compassion For Us!
Week 8: Psalm 103:15-16 Soon and Very Soon, We are Going to See the King!
Week 9: Psalm 103:17-18 God's Mercy is from Everlasting to Everlasting!
Week 10: Psalm 103:19-20 God Rules Over All!
Week 11: Psalm 103:21-22 Bless the Lord!
Week 12: My Plan for Keeping Psalm 103 Hidden In My Heart!
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Copyright © 2012 Brooke Espinoza.