He remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:14
When Warren mentioned during our weekly ministry team call that he was “feeling dusty,” I sensed that this was his way of referencing the physical challenges associated with aging and ill-health. For Warren and his wife, both in their late sixties, 2020 included doctors’ visits, surgical procedures, and the rearranging of their home to accommodate in-home care. They were on the other side of the prime of life and they were feeling it.
One doesn’t have to live long before sensing our inadequacies, imperfections, and weaknesses—physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. God, in the person of His Son, Jesus, stepped into our fallen world and cares for those who experience the liabilities of human existence (Psalm 103:13). Furthermore, David wrote, “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (v. 14). The term dust takes us back to Genesis: “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (2:7).
Are you feeling dusty these days? Welcome to the realities of earthly living. Remember, however, that when we feel most vulnerable, we’re not left alone. Our compassionate God “knows” and “remembers.” He demonstrated His love to us by sending His Son to provide forgiveness for earthly people like you and me. Whatever life may bring, may we trust in Him.
What situations make you aware of your human limitations? How have you seen the hand of God in the midst of your weaknesses?
Father, though in various ways I feel my limitations—my dustiness—help me to be strong in faith and trust You.
A key word in Psalm 103:13–19 is compassion (Hebrew racham). God is described as having the compassion of a father toward His children (v. 13). This description echoes God’s description of Himself in Exodus 34, where He reveals His glory to Moses and says, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished” (vv. 6–7). Compassion is the first adjective God uses to describe Himself when He allowed Moses to see Him in a way that no one else had. It’s one of His defining characteristics of His relationship with us.