Psalm 103:2-4 (NIV) A Psalm of DAVID
- Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
- who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
Here David is encouraging himself my meditating on the promises of God for himself. We all need to do this when we are down or in need.
- If you tell me you are never down or you don’t have any unmet needs I don’t believe you.
Clearly David believes God’s promises are comprehensive.
- He is saved from the pit of despair and damnation.
- God forgives all his sins and also heals all his diseases.
ALL is a bold word.
- If you believe for ALL these things, you have a very bold faith, and rather controversial because many people want to believe for forgiven sins but not too much more.
You might say David was a specially chosen prophet and king, a special favourite of God. Maybe he is just talking about his own special privileges with God.
- So is David just talking about himself and a few specially chosen ones?
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. Psalm 103:6 (NIV)
Here is this word ALL again but this time it is not only ALL sins forgiven and ALL diseases healed but God’s miraculous power and favour available to ALL who need help.
Who is included in God’s favour?
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: Psalm 103:7 (NIV)
In the Old Testament, God worked mighty miracles for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and many other heroes of faith but God also forgave, healed, protected and saved ALL the people of Israel when they escaped from Egypt and crossed the Red Sea.
He also brought them out with silver and gold, And there was none feeble among His tribes. Psalm 105:37 (NKJV)
But is God’s mercy and power only for the sons and daughters of Jacob, the people of Israel. David gives the rest of us words of hope.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; Psalm 103:11 (NKJV)
A Syrian general was suffering from incurable leprosy. He had a captured Hebrew slave girl who told her about the prophet Elisha in Israel. When General Naaman found Elisha, the prophet sent him a message.
Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” 2 Kings 5:10 (NIV)
The general was angry but he reconsidered and did what he was told. When he came up out of the dirty river for the seventh time, he was healed.
God wants to forgive all your sins and heal all your diseases but are you willing to honour God with your simple trust and humble obedience?
If you respect and trust God, if you revere and love Jesus, God’s promises are also for you.
But there are always some people who want to believe in a theology that limits God. God healed the Jews and some other people in the Old Testament but what about today?
Matthew 8:16-17 (ESV)
- That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.
- This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
When did Jesus take our illnesses and bear our diseases? On the cross.
This is a quote from Isaiah 53, which is a prophecy of Jesus suffering on the cross for our salvation.
Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains–he hath carried them, And we–we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4 (YLT)
Here Young’s Literal Translation accurately translates Isaiah and agrees with the Greek translation in Matthew 8:17.