As the saying goes: "First things come first." We can err in that respect and often fail to mention or list first what ought to be brought to the attention of our hearers. But God never slips or makes mistakes. Having been told that, we should bless Him for all the benefits which He bestowed upon us, He now in verse 3 of Psalm 103, through David, lists first of all the benefit of the forgiveness of our sins.
There just is no benefit as important as that one. If we do not receive it, we cannot be given the healing of our diseases; we cannot be redeemed from destruction, be crowned with loving kindness and tender mercy, have our mouths satisfied with good things and our youth renewed like the eagle's. We sing correctly:
He freely pardons all thy sins,
And He is strong to save:
He heals thy sickness, soothes thy pain,
And ransoms from the grave.
In the forgiving of our sins our salvation is begun. If God does not give us this benefit we have no right to any benefit of any kind. God may and does give men food and drink, life and talents, joyful experiences and the like. He gives life and talents also to the devil and his host. But these are not blessings to them, and therefore are not benefits. They are that which they must receive to do what God decreed in His counsel that they should do; but we err if we think that these are works of His loving kindness and tender mercies. Unless He forgives our sins, what He gives us is not a work of His grace. His grace falls only on those whose sins are blotted out by the blood of Christ. There just is no legal basis for the righteous God to bestow His grace on those whose sins are not blotted out.
Since He does forgive our sins, giving us that very important benefit, we surely should bless His name. Forget not all His benefits: but, by all means, do not forget that tremendous gift of forgiveness. You just cannot bless Him too much for that!
Read: Romans 5
Psalter versification: 277:3
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 376
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Isaiah 39; Isaiah 40; Isaiah 41:1-16
Proverbs 23:25-28 Quote for Reflection:
“After having roused us to the struggle by the consideration of the enemy, and entirely removed every apology for slothfulness, He again confirms and strengthens our mind by reminding us of the King, whom we faithfully serve, and by showing that He is more powerful than all. THINE, he says, IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY. If the kingdom is His, we have nothing to fear, there being none that can oppose it, or wrest from Him the government. When He says, Thine is the kingdom, He shows that our antagonist is also subject to Him, although, so far as God permits, he makes opposition. For he is one of the number of God’s servants, though he belongs to the guilty and wicked; and he will not venture, in a single instance, to attack a fellow-servant, till he has received power to do so from the Lord of all.” (Chrysostom)