This has got to be, no joke, in the top three of my favorite Psalms. It’s so rich in meaning and so poignant in its description of how God has treated us. In fact, his goodness drips like honey off every line. Let’s take a look at some of the notes I’ve made about it over the years.
We're so slow to be grateful and so quick to complain, aren’t we? I recall once when I saw a Preacher on TV speaking about this Psalm, and he made a great point regarding vs. 2 (“forget not all his benefits”): “Don’t forget all the things he’s done for you. Of course, there’s no way that you can remember all his benefits, but at least don’t forget all of them.”
And within three verses, David lists five of these blessings which our Savior has poured out onto us. First, he's forgiven all our sins. This is the first thing he does for us, and it has to be. Unless and until our sin problem was dealt with, he couldn’t do anything more of eternal import. Second, he heals all of our diseases. Of course, often we have to deal with ongoing illnesses in this life, so does that mean that this isn’t in effect? Of course not. If we belong to him, then he will heal all of our diseases, either in this world or in the next one, and of course we have no idea how many times he’s kept us from things we never even know about. Third, he redeems our life from the pit. If you ever want to know what the Psalmist is referring to, try talking to someone who got saved later in life, instead of receiving salvation as a child, which I did. Fourth, he crowns us with love and compassion. Fifth, he satisfies our desires with good things. Like any good parent, he doesn’t give us anything which will harm us, but only what will help us. Please keep in mind that what we need and what we want are rarely the same.
I would like to spend a moment looking at this concept which we find in verse 4. This is a beautiful pattern we find several times in Scripture, and it’s something that we need to contemplate. I call it “Out Of and In To.” For example, when the Lord appeared to Moses, he told him “I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Paul picked up this motif at least twice. Eph 2:1-7 tells us that although we were by nature objects of his wrath, he saved us from that and raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms. Col. 1:13 proclaims that “he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”
Notice the pattern yet, and how it applies to us? He pulled us out of the pit in order to crown us with love and compassion. He rescued us from the land of slavery in order to bring us into the Promised Land. He rescued us from the dominion of darkness in order to bring us into the kingdom of his Son. He forgave all our sins, but that’s only the beginning of what he does for us as believers. He has so much more for us besides just keeping us out of hell. If that’s the extent of your view of salvation, then it’s a pretty limited one.
Lord Jesus, I could NEVER remember all the blessings which you’ve showered upon me, but please don’t let me forget all of them. You're so quick to bless, so quick to forgive, so slow to anger. You have redeemed my soul from the pit, and crowned me with love and compassion. Wow.