Psalm 103 ( 1 – 5 )
Verse 5 completes David’s catalogue of saving benefits; “Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Satisfaction is a word we seldom hear today. The Rolling Stones spoke for their whole generation when they sang “I can’t get no satisfaction.” We are people who are satiated with pleasure, much of it sinful, and yet we feel so dissatisfied. We have all that we want and very little of what we need to make us truly happy.
God offers not satiation but satisfaction: “He satisfies my desires,” David says (verse 5, NIV) We remember that David is addressing his soul; it is the soul that God, and only God, satisfies. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” What good news that is to a generation like ours! If you walk with God, he will satisfy your soul. That is what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14) “Sir,” the woman replied, “give me this water.” God will give soul satisfying eternal life to all who repent of their sins and come to Christ in faith.
That does not mean that Christians will never experience hardship, sickness, poverty, or pain. Nor will it mean that all our worldly wants will be instantly fulfilled. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) But he also said “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18: 29 – 30) “Bless the Lord, O my soul!”
Finally, David says that our youth will be “renewed like the eagle’s” This is similar to what Paul says about the Christian’s inward renewal; though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16)
The eagle is a symbol of strength and vigour, and God give these to the trusting soul. This is especially fulfilled in the life beyond death. I think of the last words of the 19th century preacher, Dr Edward Payson, dying in the midst of great pain. He said, “I know that my happiness is but begun. It will last forever…. It seems as if my soul has found a pair of new wings and is so eager to try them. See Isaiah 40:31 for something similar. With this David completes his chain of benefits for which his soul should praise the Lord.
May we too continue to praise the Lord as we remember with gratitude his saving benefits.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
Eglwys y bedyddwyr carmel baptist church pontlliw
Carmel is a loving community of the spirit, serves a living Christ and takes seriously the lavish commission of our Lord to be witnesses for Him in the world.
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Rev. H. Vincent Watkins