This Psalm was requested by Brother Roberts to be read at his funeral, and is so meaningful in such a circumstance. It was probably written when the ark was brought to Jerusalem with great rejoicing (1Chr. 16).
The Psalm is a Song of pure and joyous worship; there is not a single petition contained in it. It is like a stream of grateful praise, whose gentle and regular words rise higher and higher as it flows from a mind moved to the innermost depths by blessings received. So the Song presents a self-exhortation to bless Yahweh for His benefits. GEM
1 (A Psalm of David.)
Bless Yahweh, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
We have at least a hundred reasons for being thankful where we have but one for being sad and melancholy. Why, then, are we more prone to the latter than the former? Is it because we forget?
TC March 1898
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
East and West also relates to the conquest of sin - morally in Gethsemane and physically at Golgotha - each within sight of the Holy of Holies - the way to which was opened thereby.:hence Psa.103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Bro Paul Hart
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so Yahweh pitieth them that fear him.
Children are the great type of our relationship to God, and God's to us-
Men and women are told to consider children, and to learn from them in many ways. They are also told to observe in children many things that must be avoided, put away, grown out of, overcome. Unfortunately, our natural tendency is to cling to the faults of childhood and to quickly grow out of its virtues.
The main purpose of our life is to grow up, to develop, to learn, improve, mature. We must be constantly growing up-
"Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
In this respect we are always children-always growing and learning. When we cease to grow and learn, our lives cease to have any meaning or purpose. We become just another comfortable vegetable.
* * *
From the beginning, The Child-the Seed of the Woman-was the heart of the promise of redemption and reconciliation-
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders."
The birth of a child was always an occasion of great joy.
The children born to Israel received the token of the Covenant on the 8th day after birth.
Here is emphasized the importance of the child in the national pattern, and their special position before God.
So we find the children of believers today stand in a special relationship to God, and therefore come under a special responsibility, for where much is given, much is expected. God blesses children for the parents' sake. What greater blessing than to be enlightened in the Truth, and to be invited to become sons and daughters of God?
Bro Growcott - Unto us a child is born
17 But the mercy of Yahweh is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
In the Christadelphian Instructor, under the question, "What does the Bible reveal concerning the character of God," the first sentence is this-
"He is kind, yet inflexible in the requirements of His Law."
There can be no better summing up of the whole picture: infinitely kind, yet absolutely inflexible in matters of right and wrong; infinitely merciful, longsuffering and forgiving, but He rigidly insists upon total, unreserved, absolute submission and a continuous and fearful, enlightened obedience.
He demands everything we have, but never requires more than is possible. He knows each one's strengths and weaknesses; each one's possibilities and limitations. He makes merciful allowance for stumblings and shortcomings, and knows who are sincerely endeavouring to serve Him with all their hearts.
His desire is to help and to build-to teach and to strengthen; not to condemn and destroy. But He will not for a moment tolerate the slightest degree of carelessness in His service, nor voluntary foolishness, nor wilful neglect, nor presumptuous disobedience.
His mercy is not indiscriminate. It operates upon definite, eternal, impartial principles. His mercy is to bridge the gap between perfection and the best that man at his best efforts can do.
Those who do not give their best and their utmost do not even put themselves into the channel of the possibility of receiving His mercy. His mercy is not for the purpose of bridging over our carelessness, or neglect, or lack of devotion. It is just to cover our impossibilities AFTER we have done our best.
Bro Growcott - Mercy
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
We have a tremendous, overwhelming -- almost crushing -- responsibility to God. We should be conscious of it every moment. He has richly given us everything: life and existence and consciousness; the revelation of Himself and His loving goodness; His Word; His Purpose; His call to eternal communion with Him in the Divine Nature; the dreadful sacrifice of His only-begotten Son for our salvation; an earth-home full of infinite beauty and divine imprint; the incomparably marvelous tools of the human mind and hands; the power of thought and memory and imagination.
And we have agreed to accept all this from Him, on His conditions. And He asks so little in comparison in return, and that for our own good -- simply the casting off of everything to do with this dark, dying, sinful world and its follies, and total love and devotion and service to Him. And yet we putter away our life in the stinking rubbish heap of the present, as though all these glorious things never existed. Let us open our eyes and hearts, before it has all passed away beyond our grasp for ever. Opportunity pauses for us just so long: and then -- eternal darkness.
- Bro Growcott - Search Me O God
21 Bless ye Yahweh, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
By these testimonies we are taught that the Elohim and the Angels are the same order of Divine Intelligences; and that they belong to, or are the property of Yahweh. Hence, they are styled "His angels," "His Mighty Ones of Power," "His hosts," and "His servants," or ministers; "who do His pleasure."
He is their Creator, Lord or Imperial Chief; and they are more ancient than the human race. Without Him, they can do nothing. It may be said of them, as Jesus said of himself,
"Of myself I can do nothing."
Energized and authorized, however, by Him, nothing is too great or difficult for them to do. The Supreme Power, or Ail, has His pleasures; and whatever He is pleased to do, He commands its execution, and they perform it by His Spirit, whose material embodiments they are.
They are, therefore, "Spirits" -- public official spirits, as Paul styles them; "begotten of the Spirit," and consequently spirit. They are therefore in Ail, and of Ail, and He through them all. To see them, is to see power in form and body: in common terms, to "see God"; and yet not to see Ail,
"whom no man hath seen, or can see."
This intimate relationship, so intimate as to constitute a Unity in plurality, but not a plurality in the absolute and primary Power the source of all--is expressed in Isaiah 45:18 --
"Thus saith Yahweh that created the heavens hu ha-Elohim, HE THE ELOHIM that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited. I YAHWEH, and none without."
In this text Yahweh is twice repeated. This expresses one, being in the singular number; but Elohim is plural expressing two or a multitude; and this noun of multitude is prefaced, not by they as they the Elohim; but by "He," as He the Elohim.
This peculiarity is doctrinal not accidental, nor an arbitrary custom of language, but designed. It teaches that the creation was produced from one power ex ou, out of which, are all things, and that this one power operated through a plurality of agents, or Elohim, who are the spirit-embodiments of its rays.
Phanerosis - One Deity in Multiplicity