These words come from my father’s favourite Psalm in the Bible, Psalm 103. I recently asked him how it came to be his favourite. He shared that his grandfather (who shared the same first name Marinus) had greatly loved this passage as well. In 22 verses, this song of praise to God covers so much ground. It is easy to identify with.
When my dad reads the part, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit” it is very personal. He has experienced healing from episodes of illness, both physical and mental. Previously in pain with every step he took, his knee surgery in 2009 has made him able to walk with ease. He is a survivor of thyroid cancer. The “pit” can represent depression as well as the grave. He has been lifted up from them both.
God’s character is highlighted: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” The God of the Bible is not ruthless but abundantly caring towards his people.
Regarding our past wrongdoings, we discover “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” He doesn’t hold them against us anymore!
These ancient words show that “from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him.”