My wife, Cari, and I recently traveled to Santa Barbara, California—the city where we met and fell in love thirty-five years ago—to attend our college reunion. We planned to visit several places where we had spent some of the best hours of our youth together. But when we arrived at the location of our favorite Mexican restaurant, we found a building supply store there. A wrought iron plaque hung on the wall commemorating the restaurant and its four decades of service to the community.
I gazed on the barren but still familiar sidewalk, once dotted cheerfully with colorful tables and bright umbrellas. So much had changed around us! Yet in the midst of change, God’s faithfulness never changes. David observed poignantly: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:15–17). David concludes the psalm with these words: “Praise the Lord, my soul” (v. 22).
The ancient philosopher Heraclitus said, “You can never step in the same river twice.” Life is always changing around us, but God remains the same and can always be trusted to keep His promises! His faithfulness and love can be counted on from generation to generation.
How is it comforting to know that God never changes? When have you needed that assurance?
In Psalm 103, David acknowledges there are many reasons for praising God. The word praise comes from the Hebrew word meaning “to kneel” as an act of worship. Therefore, this song is David’s call to worship, with praise for God first taking place in his own heart. In verses 1–6, the psalmist reminds himself to never forget all the wonderful things God has done for him personally. Then the call to worship goes out to the nation of Israel (vv. 7–18). David proclaims the provision of a loving Father—how He had revealed Himself to Moses and blessed the nation with rescue from Egypt. Ultimately, even the angelic hosts in the heavenly realms (vv. 19–22) are called to give worship to the one true God. Finally, David ends as he began—reminding himself to honor and praise the Lord from the depths of his own heart: “Praise the LORD, my soul” (v. 22).