A W Tozer said that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Whatever comes to mind when someone says “God” to you is the most important thing about you. Not because what you think or believe about God changes who He is, but because what you think or believe about God does change how you live your life now and where you will live for all eternity.
Do you view God as your cosmic grandfather? He is really nice always giving you what you want and yet is rarely confrontational. Or do you view God as an overbearing teacher? Do you think He is always finding a way to show you how you are wrong? Is God a police officer to you? Do you view Him as making sure you are keeping all the rules and ready to give you a ticket if you don’t? Or is your view of God more that He is a permissive parent who doesn’t like what you are doing, but doesn’t have the will power to stop you. Maybe you think, “I don’t do everything like I should, but it’s okay because God is love-so He has to forgive me even if I don’t do what he wants.” All of those views of God are wrong.
Psalm 103 is a passage that is dense with revelation regarding the character and actions of God. Just as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics that things tend to deterioration and disorder in this world, there is a kind of 2nd Law of Thermodynamics spiritually as well. Even born again followers of Jesus suffer from this effect spiritually. We all tend toward a wrong view of God if our minds are not being renewed by God’s Word. Maybe you are reading this and you have never had your spiritual eyes opened up to who God truly is. If that is the case you do not have an accurate view of God. If you have trusted in Jesus who died for you and rose again from the dead, you have a much more accurate view of who God is. However, it is also true that as Christians we are constantly going wrong on this aspect of who God is. The World is telling us every day something about God. If we are not actively combating that with what God’s Word says we will tend toward a wrong view of God. Besides, our own hearts are able to produce distorted views of God without the help of the world around us. We desperately need to go to the only true source of who God is and what He has done: God’s Word.
Psalm 103 is a great place to reorient our hearts and minds toward a true view of God. We have seen in verses 1-5 that we are to bless the LORD personally. Now in verses 6-18 we will see we are to bless the LORD corporately. We are to call attention to the good that is in the LORD. We are to recount God’s characteristic benefits for the purpose of blessing Him corporately.
The very first corporate benefit that the Psalmist recounts is that of His beneficial care:
The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel (Psalm 103:6-7)
We are going to consider verse 6 and the fact that the LORD cares for the oppressed. Again and again Scripture reveals that God is very aware of the plight of those who are oppressed.
The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked (Psalm 146:9)
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world (James 1:27)
But how does the LORD care for the oppressed? Verse 6 is clear that it is by righteousness.God always measures up to the standards of His own attributes, laws, and self-imposed obligations. He measures up to His character that we will continue to see revealed in this Psalm.
The Lord cares for the oppressed by righteousness but also by justice. All of the Lord’s judgments toward the oppressed are just. This is who God is:
For the word of the LORD is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD (Psalm 33:4)
Of course to bless the Lord for His care for the oppressed takes faith. We do not always see it happening right in front of us. We do not always perceive how He is doing so. As it has been said, we cannot take the dash board view of this, but the helicopter view of this. Often we do see God’s justice and righteousness executed in this life, but all those unresolved questions about righteousness and justice will be perfectly answered in the end. There will be no injustice unrectified, no unrighteousness swept under the rug. God will make all things right.
Though it may not seem as if the oppressed are cared for now, this is unshakably true:
Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the LORD (Proverbs 29:26)
Bless the Lord for He is aware of the plight of the oppressed and He carries out righteous deeds and just judgments even in this world. The eye of faith blesses the LORD for His beneficial care of the oppressed knowing that His righteous deeds and just judgments will not fully blossom until Jesus returns as the Prince of Peace.