Talking to yourself - 13 May 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Psalm 103:1-2

Do you talk to yourself? David did! Well, I don’t know if he had conversations with himself about Israel’s taxes but we do know from this psalm that he summoned his own soul to praise the Lord.

How does he do this? First, he reminds himself of who God is and what God has done (v7: He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel), and then he latches on to a particular text, specifically Psalm 103:8: “the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”

David is quoting Exodus 34:6. At the heart of David’s self-exhortation he has a particular text in mind — one frequently recalled by Old Testament authors in the midst of sin (Joel 2:12), sorrow (Lamentations 3:21–23), and pain (Psalm 86:15).

David, recalling this text, begins to spin out all its implications — God’s anger does not last forever, sin has been cast as far as the east is from the west, God’s compassion will not fail because David is his (see 103:9–19).

David is moved. A heart that was faltering is now soaring. A deeply wrought gratitude now swells up to expression. He cannot keep it in: “Bless the Lord, O my soul” (see Psalm 103:20–22).

When you’re talking to yourself, are you reminding yourself of what God has done for you in Christ Jesus? When the days are darkest, summon your soul to praise the Lord!  Find specific texts by which you can fight the fight of faith — perhaps some short ones like these: Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5–6; Isaiah 41:10; and long ones like Romans 8:26–39; John 10:7–18 and Psalm 103!

Prayer: Lord God, we praise you with all of your creation for all you have done. Most of all, we praise you for sending Jesus to save all your creation from sin and death. Amen.

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