Psalm 103 Bible Study and Commentary


Psalm 103 is a special psalm on the relationship between God and his children.

Psalm 103: 3-4

Psalm 103 is one of my favorites and it might be one of yours too, but why? It’s because it’s the Lord God “Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103: 3) and through Jesus Christ he “redeem your life from the pit, which crowns you with unwavering love and mercy(Psalm 103: 4). The word “iniquity” is just another word for sin and emphasizes our inequality before a holy God (Rm3: 23). He not only forgives our iniquities (1 John 1: 9), he redeems our life from the pit …. and I would think, “the abyss of hell” and after all this he fills us with love and mercy, where we get what we don’t deserve.

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t be forgiven?

What does “iniquity” mean to you?

Does this verse give a general promise that God will heal all of our illnesses?

What does “the pit” mean to you?

Psalm 103: 5-6

As tired as I am, I like what DL Moody said when asked if he was tired as he came home late one night and he said, “I’m not tired from work. … I’m tired of work ”so that’s a huge difference isn’t it, but God says through David that it’s God “which fills you with good so that your youth is renewed like that of the eagle” (Psalm 103: 5), and more than that, “The Lord works righteousness and righteousness for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103: 6).

In what ways does God renew our strength?

Why is the eagle used as an example?

Will God serving righteousness ever help you today?

Psalm 103: 8-9

What a precious verse where David writes, “The Lord is merciful and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in unwavering love” (Psalm 103: 8). I would have liked to be more merciful, gracious and slow to anger, but more so, the promise is “He won’t always scold and keep his anger forever” (Psalm 103: 9). It is said that the Lord is angry but not forever, so to whom does this apply as well? How precious these promises are.

Can we keep our anger until it passes?

How can we do this?

What does the word “criticize” mean?

Psalm 103: 10-11

What a beautiful, merciful God we have, who declares through David, that God “Do not treat us according to our sins, nor give us back according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103: 10). If God dealt with us according to our sins, none of us could stand before God, but how dreadful is our God who says: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his unwavering love for those who fear him” (Psalm 103: 11). How far is the sky above the earth? More than we can really know. It is immeasurable in reality. The gap between a holy God and us is endless, but Jesus bridged that gap with the cross.

Do we treat others according to their sins against us?

Do we naturally want to replay others according to their iniquities against us?

Why did David use the distance between the heavens and the earth to talk about his unwavering love?

Psalm 103: 12

When people believe they have sinned too much I often refer them to this verse which says “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103: 12) But the interesting point is that east and west never meet! They go in different directions endlessly, but north and south meet… at the equator, so God tells us that our sins are so removed that they appear invisible or are gone forever! It is powerful my friend. This is the tip of the iceberg of God’s love for us… to die for us while they were still ungodly and wicked sinners who were once enemies of God (Rom 5: 6-10).

Why does David say “our transgressions “ instead of “our sins? “

What is the difference?

How did God remove our transgressions?

Why did David use east-west as an example?

Psalm 103: 13-14

These two verses are so precious to me that I often find comfort in them. Just read how special it is by God tells us “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. Because he knows our framework; he remembers that we are dust “ (Psalm 103: 13-14). God uses the earthly analogy of a father who (should) show compassion for his little children. Why? He knows that they are built and fragile (“dust”), but it is about us and not little children. God sees our fragility and knows that there was only dust in the wind if it was not for His Spirit. If God remembers that we are dust, then He realizes that we are not very strong… but not as an insult but as a soft-hearted Father who understands our surroundings.

Why does David use “our frame” in reference to the fact that we are just dust?

In what ways does an earthly father show compassion to his children?

Do you think that you are only “dust” in relation to God? Why?

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the host of Spiritual Fitness and lead writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. . You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.


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