Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 103

An exhortation to Bless God for his Mercy. (1-5) And to the
Church and to all men. (6-14) For the constancy of his Mercy.
(15-18) For the government of the world. (19-22)

1-5 By the Pardon of Sin, that is taken away which kept good
things from us, and we are restored to the favour of God, who
bestows good things On us. Think of the provocation; it was Sin,
and yet pardoned: how many the provocations, yet all pardoned!
God is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting.
The body finds the melancholy consequences of Adam's Offence, it
is subject to many infirmities, and the soul also. Christ alone
forgives all our sins; it is he alone who heals all our
infirmities. And the person who finds his Sin cured, has a
Well-grounded Assurance that it is forgiven. When God, By the
graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from
their decays, and fills them with new Life and joy, which is to
them an Earnest of eternal Life and joy, they may then be said
to return to the days of their youth, Job 33:25.

6-14 Truly God is good to all: he is in a special manner good
to Israel. He has revealed himself and his Grace to them. By his
ways we may understand his precepts, the ways he requires us to
walk in; and his promises and purposes. He always has been full
of compassion. How unlike are those to God, who take every
occasion to chide, and never know when to cease! What would
become of us, if God should Deal So with us? The Scripture says
a great Deal of the Mercy of God, and we all have experienced
it. The Father pities his children that are weak in knowledge,
and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears
with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them;
pities them when they are fallen, and Helps them to rise; pities
them when they have offended, and, upon their submission,
forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus
the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He
considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls,
how little we can do, how little we can Bear; in all which his
compassion appears.

15-18 How short is Man's Life, and uncertain! The flower of the
garden is commonly more choice, and will last the longer, for
being sheltered By the garden-Wall, and the gardener's care; but
the flower of the Field, to which Life is here compared, is not
only withering in itself, but exposed to the cold blasts, and
liable to be cropped and trod On By the beasts of the Field. Such
is Man. God considers this, and pities him; let him consider it
himself. God's Mercy is better than Life, for it will outlive
it. His Righteousness, the Truth of his promise, shall be unto
children's children, who tread in the footsteps of their
forefathers' Piety. Then shall Mercy be preserved to them.

19-22 He who made all, rules all, and both By a Word of power.
He disposes all persons and things to his own Glory. There is a
world of holy angels who are ever praising him. Let all his
Works praise him. Such would have been our constant delight, if
we had not been fallen creatures. Such it will in a Measure
become, if we are born of God. Such it will be for ever in
Heaven; nor can we be perfectly happy till we can take unwearied
pleasure in perfect obedience to the will of our God. And let
the feeling of each redeemed Heart be, Bless the Lord, O my