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Passage for Today

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!


  1. What do you learn about who God is?
  2. What do you learn about our relationship with God?


By Christopher Ash

If we ask, “Are the righteous in the Psalms the same as those who are righteous by grace alone through faith alone under the new covenant?” the answer must be “yes and no.” Overwhelmingly, the answer is yes. We who are new-covenant believers, who belong to Christ, share with them their delight in God, their desire to see the face of God, their penitence, their fleeing to God for refuge from both troubles and judgment, their assurance of forgiveness because of their covenant head, the outworking of their faith in righteousness of life, and the presence in our world, as in theirs, of hostility to Christ and his people (cf. John 15:18–16:4).

But there is, I think, one significant difference between these righteous old-covenant believers and believers in Christ under the new covenant: under the new covenant, we enjoy a deeper assurance and the riches of a definitively cleansed conscience, and this is a blessing known only in anticipation and shadow under the old covenant (see Hebrews 8–10).4

So, when we come across the righteous in the Psalms, as we do in about 40 percent of the Psalms, we recognize in them people who trusted in the Christ to come. By believing and living in the obedience of faith in the covenant promises, they believed implicitly in the Christ who would fulfill those promises. They did not know as clearly as we do the fullness of that magnificent Christ nor the grandeur of those gospel promises. But that apart, we recognize in them people very like us today in Christ. This transforms the way we read the Psalms.

*  This devotion was found at DesiringGod.org titled “According to My Righteousness” by Christopher Ash and is just an excerpt. Click to read the entire article.

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