Our Good Father
1Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
18to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
19The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
21Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
22Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
We don’t know when, during his life, David penned this psalm. It could have been after his miserable sin of adultery and murder or during his time of running from the wicked King Saul. It may even have been during the time he was dealing with the plots of his son against his leadership of the nation. What we know is that David lived his life for God and these words ring true no matter the circumstance. Chances are quite good that you have heard or read this psalm numerous times yourself. It is used frequently during worship and has been read for centuries by the faithful during times of trial or sickness.
In these words, we the find truth about ourselves. We are weak and frail, subject to illness, sin, and struggles. But God is not subject to any of those things. He is impervious to the powers of sin, death, and the devil and so we look to Him when they assail us. What God does not do is demand more from us than we can perform. He knows the limitations imposed on us by our present physical and spiritual weaknesses. What we are incapable of doing, Christ has done for us.
An important person in my life is right now struggling under the weight of our physical limitations. His life will draw to a close sooner than one might hope. But I read these words with him in mind and I know that God is ever present at his side. God has provided his escape from these trials through the blood of Jesus Christ and he knows this to be his reality. Because of Jesus, none of his sins will be counted against him and eternity with God stretches before him. Those of us who love him hold on tightly to this certain hope.
As I was praying through these words, the song Good, Good Father came to mind. The central point of this psalm is the loving presence and power of our Heavenly Father who is capable of our protection, provision, and salvation. I’ve left you a link so that you can make this song a part of your devotional life today. Blessings on your prayer time.