Psalm 103 is rich in meaning! It is a cure for joylessness and has nine encouraging “alls:” All that is within me, all His benefits, all your iniquity, all your diseases, all who are oppressed, His kingdom rules over all, all His hosts, all His works, all places of His dominion. Read it “all” when you get a chance and deeply absorb the “all” encouragements offered.
In my lifetime love of mathematics, and especially symmetry, I love the thought of “all or nothing,” “black or white,” “right or wrong.” Gray areas are just hard. They upset the symmetry. They mess with the balance. They create tension. They demand patience. So, you can imagine, I love it when “all” means “all.”
Psalm 37:28 (NIV) says, “For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.” “Forever” is an “all” word! In my role as a grandparent of (so far), three beautiful granddaughters, I am sobered by the scriptural indication that patterns of faith or wickedness are passed on through the generations. The “either/or” of it fits my mathematical sensibilities. “Forever” is a serious reality when I consider my grand girls. What “all”-pattern have I laid before them? Psalm 103 gives a great blueprint.
Psalm 103:17-18 (ESV) says, “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments.” As I think deeply about the gifts of God through Jesus Christ and the gifts of grandchildren, the “all” words here are “from everlasting to everlasting.” No fog there. Only what I desire for them. Only the comfort of a God Who keeps His great promises over generations, from everlasting to everlasting. Only the requirement of faith, and the obedience that springs from faith. That is all.
Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” “No other” is the definitive “all”-phrase. Acts 4:10 says, “…It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified but Whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” This is imperative. Passing along faith in Jesus to the next generation. That is all.
In Psalm 103, it is in the Lord alone, and in no other, who:
- Forgives iniquity, removes transgressions
- Heals diseases
- Redeems your life
- Crowns you with love and mercy
- Satisfies you with good
- Works righteousness and justice
- Shows compassion
That is all. Those three little girls running through the sprinkler – all my grandchildren at this moment in time. This is my hope for you. All His benefits. All places of His dominion. All your diseases healed.