Quietness in the Presence of God

Quietness in the presence of God is essential for faithfulness in service. Paul was in the Arabian dessert for three years. God revealed to him many precious truths, among which was the gospel. See Galatians. What is the gospel? See 1 Corinthians 15. A physical death, burial, and resurrection.  

Psalm 103:1-5

Next to the 23rd Psalm, the 103rd is probably the most familiar in the entire Psalter. The thoughtful reading of these magnificent verses is enough to awaken the dormant heart to give praise, adoration, and worship to God. While David is obviously speaking to God, in a unique way he is also speaking to himself. “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” He also is pointing the souls of every individual, including the hosts of heaven to “Worship the Lord.”

This Psalm is a perfect expression of worship. No prayer is mentioned. As you read the Psalm you feel that David, in some sublime way, is being carried out of himself and unto the throne of God, to worship in the beauty of holiness. Since David’s time, myriads of God’s dear people have risen above their circumstances, entered through the veil, and worshipped God in spirit and in truth. This is a psalm of worship. Originally it was set to music and sung by the appointed singers. Today we sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with all our heart unto the Lord as an expression of our worship.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me bless his holy name.” “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.” Venerated, revered, adored, worship be Thy name. “Bless the Lord” – glorify, extol, praise, exalt, honor. See Ephesians 1:3. This is the highest occupation of the believer. Some Christians reserve worship for Sunday morning. How wrong this is. We should worship the Lord everyday. The reason why our worship is sometimes shallow and disjointed on Sunday morning is because we do not worship throughout the week.

Note that this Psalm is occupied with the Lord. The chief occupation of a believer should be the contemplative adoration and praise of God. Psalm 27 says, “One thing have I desired of the Lord.” Man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Westminster Shorter Catechism Q & A1.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits.” It is so easy to forget. That is one of the reasons that the Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper- it is a remembrance feast, lest we forget. David gives five reasons why he should “bless the Lord.”

(1) “Who forgiveth all thy iniquities” Note that it is the Lord who does all these things. He states that God forgives all sin. Not some, not many, but all. 1 John 1:9 says that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.

(2) “Who healeth all thy diseases.”

(3) “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction.”

(4) “Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.”

(5) “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles.” Was David talking of his physical body or his physical mouth? David knew what it was like to grow old; but he had a youthful soul, even in old age, because the Lord satisfied his mouth with good things.

In order to illustrate this he mentioned the eagle that had its youth renewed. The eagle is a wonderful bird. It is the only bird that soars in a straight line. It is the only bird that can look at the glory of the sun and not be blinded by it; it does not even blink an eye. The eagle soars to great heights. In this it presents a wonderful picture of the redeemed soul.

The believer can go straight into the presence of God. He can look at the glory of the Son of God and not be blinded by the glory, in fact he rejoices in gazing on the dignity, majesty, and the solemnity of his glorified Savior. He is thrilled at the magnificence, splendor and the resplendence that surrounds him as he occupies the highest place in heaven.

Men have tried to find out the reason why the eagle lives so long. Among the things they have discovered is the fact that the eagle is able to masticate its food in old age. Some have also observed that when the eagle gets old its beak brows long, making it difficult to open its mouth. To obviate this difficulty, it takes its prey between its beak and dashes it against the rocks, breaking it into small pieces. What the eagle is doing is automatically breaking off its beak. It again becomes short and it finds that it can open its mouth like a young bird again. When the soul that waits upon the Lord is fed by the Word of God it will be sustained and its youth will constantly be renewed like the eagle’s. See Isaiah 40:31.