We exist to call attention to the intrinsic goodness of our great God. In God’s good grace He gives us life that we might bless His holy name in very personal ways. In this Psalm the first five verses display seven characteristic benefits for which we can personally bless the LORD. Last time we considered the greatest benefit to recount which is that the LORD pardons all our iniquities. Now we will consider the next two reasons that David personally blesses the LORD.
Bless the LORD for He heals your diseases
Who heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:3b)
This is teaching that any time there is physical healing from disease, God is behind that healing. All disease is ultimately because sin entered into this world. We do not live in a world as it once was without any sin or suffering. Ultimately disease is part of the curse that God has placed on this earth because of our sin. But in God’s good kindness and mercy our bodies can be healed from diseases. The point to take away from this verse is that all such healing is from God. Whether this healing comes through a secondary cause such as doctors and medication or through a direct act of God apart from any secondary causes, all healing comes from the LORD. The reason we have advanced in medical understanding and ability to cure disease is because as humans we are made in the image of God and able to discover such medical solutions. Often blessing the LORD for healing our disease involves blessing Him for those He used as a secondary cause in that healing. Sometimes it involves blessing the LORD for His sovereign act apart from any medical explanation.
This is not teaching that God will always heal all our diseases. One clear example that God does not always heal the sicknesses of His people is found through the words of the Apostle Paul:
Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20)
Yes God in His sovereignty may not choose to heal us, but if we are healed we are told from Psalm 103:3 that God is the One who sovereignly did so with or without human means. Think back to how many times your body healed from sickness or disease (small or great). God was behind that healing. Right now as you face various sicknesses worship the God who is able to heal you if it is His will. Pray in submission to His will. Pray knowing that if you are to be healed, it will come from God. But as you consider your current illnesses, consider all the illnesses that you have been healed from over your life and use that as fuel for personally blessing the LORD who healed you.
I know several brothers in Christ who often bless the Lord for healing them from cancer. As you hear them speak of that healing you might think this was a recent event. In reality, this healing took place several years ago. Their recounting of this past benefit remains fresh praise on their lips to the LORD.
Bless the LORD for He redeems your life
Who redeems your life from the pit (Psalm 103:4a)
David is now moving on in His self-exhortation about wholeheartedly blessing the LORD to the fact that the LORD redeems His life. In other words, the LORD buys back His life from the pit. We are called to bless the LORD for buying our life back from the pit. The Hebrew word underlying “pit” is another word that refers to the same thing as “sheol.” David is saying that the LORD has bought back His life from the grave or the abode of the dead. David is blessing the LORD for delivering him from death. Consider the many times that God delivered David from death. As a shepherd David fought a lion and a bear. As a young man David fought Goliath. As a servant of Saul David was the target of a spear and plots against his life. As a Father, David’s own sons rebelled against Him. Again and again the LORD delivered David from death.
Have you ever known the Lord’s deliverance from death? Tying in with the previous benefit, has the Lord redeemed you from physical death by healing you of what was believed to be a terminal illness? How many times has the LORD delivered you from death on the roadways? How many times were you unaware of how He delivered you in that way? Can you think of times in your life when clearly God did redeem you from the brink of death?
Though this deliverance from physical death is probably primarily in view in this verse, we would be remise to not consider the fact that because Jesus did not deliver Himself from death, but died in our place we can be delivered from the grasp of death. The second death of eternal separation from God can have nothing to do with you through faith in Christ. If you are in Christ then you can bless the LORD who has promised that you will one day have a new body and the grave will not win.
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:23).
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
In fact, you can bless the LORD who delivers you from death. He has assured you that He will deliver you from death which is the centerpiece of the effects of sin in this world. You can bless the LORD who rightly taunts death as the defeated foe:
“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
If you know the LORD through faith in Jesus Christ then you have great reason to 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 none of His benefits… Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit (Psalm 103:1-4).