Archive for July 6th, 2021

Divine Acts of Kindness

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Divine Acts of Kindness

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Psalm 103:1–5

I read a news story once of a woman who was getting ready to jump off a 44 story building in New York City.

Witnesses said that she did not look like the type of person who would do such a thing. She was very distinguished and well dressed.

All the attempts made by the police to get the woman off the ledge had failed.

One of the officers asked if he could call his pastor in to see if he could help. When the pastor arrived, he asked permission to go to the ledge and talk to the woman.

As the pastor neared the edge the woman screamed, “Don’t come any closer or I’ll jump!”

The pastor took a step back and then said, “I am sorry that you believe no one loves you.”

This got the woman’s attention and it got the attention of the police. That was something that you don’t usually say to a person who is threatening suicide.

The woman took a step towards the pastor and said, “My grandchildren love me and so does my children. My whole family loves me! I have 8 wonderful grandchildren and they love me.”

The pastor took a step towards the woman and said, “Well then, you must be very poor, maybe that is why you want to take your own life.”

The woman who was a little overweight said, “Do I look like I go without any meals? We live in a very nice apartment. I’m not poor.”

The pastor took another step closer to her and was now 3 feet from her when he asked, “Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don’t understand.”

The woman thought for a moment and then said, “You know, I don’t really remember.”

The story ends with the pastor and the woman walking towards the elevator as she shows him pictures of her grandchildren. Eventually this woman becomes a volunteer on the city’s suicide hotline, helping others choose life.

What did the pastor do to help this woman?

He helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her.

She learned a valuable lesson that day. She learned that thankful people are happy people.

If you don’t learn anything else today, I hope you learn this valuable lesson. Thankful people are happy people.

(From a sermon by Greg Carr, Thankful People are _______ People, 12/23/2010)

___

It is easy to allow our thoughts and immediate circumstances to overwhelm us and plunge us into a deep hole of despair.  Tonight’s passage is written by a man who struggled with dark thoughts and depression every once and a while. Tonight we will see that one way to navigate the tragedy of this world is to make sure we do not forget the Divine Acts of Kindness that we have experienced and will experience in the future. 

Don’t Forget, Remember on Purpose.

Psalm 103:1–2 KJV

Bless the LORD, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless his holy name. 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all his benefits:

1ben•e•fit \?be-n?-?fit\ noun

[Middle English, from Anglo-French benfet, from Latin bene factum, from neuter of bene factus, past participle of bene facere] 14th century

1 archaic: an act of kindness:1

1 Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The words forget not all his benefits echo Deuteronomy (6:12; 8:11), and are the first hint that this psalm also will be pointing back to the days of Moses.1

1 Michael Wilcock, The Message of Psalms: Songs for the People of God, ed. J. A. Motyer, vol. 2, The Bible Speaks Today (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2001), 117–118.

In verse 2b tev “how kind he is” translates a word which means “(good) deed.” In the Masoretic text the word is in the plural (so most English translations, his benefits; njb has “his acts of kindness”); one Hebrew manuscript has the singular. It may be better to be specific, “and do not forget all the good things he has done.” The negative “do not forget” can be expressed by the positive “always remember.”1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 871.

(Note: All the personal pronouns in verses 3–5: “thy, thee, thine” all refer to the soul!) By the way, forgetting is far more than just failing to remember something, this word carries the idea of turning from God to follow other gods. A lapse of spiritual memory will cause the saints to wander! David wants his soul to contemplate all the “benefits” which the Lord has given. The word “benefits” means “dealing”. It refers to how the Lord treats the soul.1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1615.

Remember God Forgives

Psalm 103:3 KJV

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;

Ephesians 1:7 KJV

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 KJV

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Colossians 2:13 KJV

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Man’s greatest need makes the top of David’s list! David uses the word “iniquities”. This word means “bent or crookedness”. It refers to that evil bent in our nature that pulls us toward sin. It brings to mind the fact that I am a sinner and I have sinned, but it also points out the fact that I am guilty of sin now and ever will be, as long as I am in this body!1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1615.

Remember God Heals

Psalm 103:3 KJV

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;

Matthew 9:35 KJV

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

The believer’s body will not be completely delivered from weakness and disease until it is redeemed and glorified at the return of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:18–23). In Scripture, sickness is sometimes used as a picture of sin and healing as a picture of salvation (41:4; 147:3; Isa. 53:10; Luke 5:18–32; 1 Peter 2:23–24)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49.

Our souls are subject to many terrible maladies. Among them are lust, hate, greed, jealousy, discouragement, depression, anger, fear, guilt, and doubt, just to name a few. Just as surely as diseases of the body can take away physical life, the diseases of the souls can deaden us toward the things of God and leave us lifeless and weak.1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1616.

Remember God Redeems – Pays The Slave’s Ransom

Psalm 103:4 KJV

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Galatians 3:22 KJV

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

103:4 who redeems The Hebrew word used here, go’el, refers to a person who rescues another from a form of bondage through outside help. The term is applied to situations ranging from physical harm, to slavery, to debt. See note on Job 19:25.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 103:4.

The word “redeem” (v. 4) would remind the Jewish people of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt at the Exodus (Ex. 12–15). The statement describes God rescuing someone about to fall into a pit, and “the pit” is a symbol of sheol (6:5; 16:10; 28:1), the world of the dead. David himself was often very near to death, so perhaps he had premature death in mind.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49.

Every soul that enters this world is a slave to sin, Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22. Every soul is headed to horrible conclusion as well, Rom. 6:23. Thank God He saw the plight of lost souls and provided redemption for them. He saw our enslavement and He saw the ultimate destiny in Hell that awaited every single member of the human race. But, He wasn’t merely content to see it, He did something about it! He came into this world and paid the price for our redemption on the cross, Rev. 5:9; Gal. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:18–19. Now, those who were slaves to sin and headed for an eternity in Hell have been delivered from their slavery and have a heavenly hope today!1

1 Alan Carr, “Blessings the Soul Forgets (Psalm 103:1–5),” in The Sermon Notebook: Old Testament (Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015), 1616.

Remember God Crowns You With Loving Kindness.

Psalm 103:4 KJV

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

David also knew something about crowns, but no crown he ever wore compared with God’s lovingkindness and compassion (tender mercies). These attributes also appear in verses 8, 11, 13, and 17. Believers should “reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17, nkjv; and see Rev. 1:1–6). We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:1–7), and He helps us to “reign in life.”1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49.

Remember God Satisfies and Renews

Psalm 103:5 KJV

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

There is no satisfaction in this world, but we have satisfaction in Christ who is the Bread of Life (John 6:33–40) and the Good Shepherd who leads us into green pastures (23:2). (See 107:9 and 145:16.) The word translated “mouth” is a bit of a puzzle since it is usually translated “ornaments” or “jewelry,” words that hardly fit this context. Some students interpret the word to mean “duration” or “years” (see nasb). No matter how old we become, God can satisfy the needs of our lives and the spiritual desires of our hearts.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 49–50.

103:5 eagle’s Symbolic of strength and speed, perhaps because of its ability to attack quickly from above.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 103:5.

The legend about the physical renewal of the eagle is not what David had in mind in verse 5. Like most birds, eagles do molt and have what seems to be a new lease on life. But the picture here is that of the believer being strengthened by the Lord even in old age and able to “soar” like the eagle (Isa. 40:31). (See 71:17–18; 92:14; 2 Cor. 4:16–18.)1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 50.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:55 PM July 6, 2021.