As we continue through Psalm 103, it’s important to keep in mind that David began this Psalm with praise and has now begun to recount the benefits of walking with God.
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; ~Psalm 103:4 (KJV)
I cannot see the word redeem without thinking about the song, Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave. Yes, God redeems us from the pit of despair (couldn’t resist the Princess Bride reference). Check out the Amplified Bible version of this verse:
“Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies,and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;” ~Psalm 103:4 (AMP)
Have you been corrupted by the world? Yes, we all have. And yet, He redeems, avenges, purchases, delivers us from destruction, corruption, graves, ditches… the pits. His redemption isn’t just setting us free, which in and of itself is priceless. No, He repairs what was broken… He restores what was lost… He brings beauty from ashes. That destruction no longer defines us because it has been transformed to our benefit. I simply love the commentary from The Treasury of David, for this section:
“By purchase and by power the Lord redeems us from the spiritual death into which we had fallen, and from the eternal death which would have been its consequence… Glory be to our great Substitute, who delivered us from going down into the pit, by giving himself to be our ransom. Redemption will ever constitute one of the sweetest notes in the believer’s grateful song.”
Which brings us to the second half of the verse. I love how the AMP version says, “beautifies, dignifies, and crowns”. Picture that with me for a moment. Visualize something stained and ugly being beautified. Now picture something undignified being restored to dignity. What about being crowned… that’s royalty. We are His children and as such, He crowns us with loving-kindness and tender mercy. Talk about a benefit we do not deserve apart from him! Check out this quote, also from The Treasury of David:
“Our Lord does nothing by halves, he will not stay his hand till he has gone to the uttermost with his people. Cleansing, healing, redemption, are not enough, he must make them kings and crown them, and the crown must be far more precious than if it were made of corruptible things, such as silver and gold; it is studded with gems of grace and lined with the velvet of lovingkindness; it is decked with the jewels of mercy, but made soft for the head to wear by a lining of tenderness.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Can you imagine if people still talked like that today? It is so expressive, visual, and fraught with feeling. I can picture it, can you?
The 1599 Geneva Bible is more to the point in it’s footnote summary of this verse. It says, “For before that we have remission of our sins, we are as dead men in the grave.” I don’t know about you, but I’m really thankful not to be spiritually “dead in the grave”. You may be thinking, how is this different from the verse before where David says God forgives all our sins. Well, redemption is different because it takes that forgiveness to the next level. It takes it all the way to restoration. Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul”. Yes… redemption moves to beautify, dignify, and crown.
Our next verse will arrive on March 15th. If you’re interested in joining the Siesta Scripture Memory Team, please do jump in.