Psalm 103

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.

    How do those who believe we pay for our sins in hell reconcile that view to this verse?
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    The key word is "us," which I believe refers to believers.

    Those of us whom God has saved do not receive the punishment we deserve.
     
  3. Lux et veritas

    Lux et veritas
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    Verse 10 makes great sense when looked at in context to the immediately preceding verses. (quote from the AV)
    8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
    9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
    10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

    This makes it pretty obvious that the psalmist is speaking of God's dealings with us in this life. He always deals with us better than we deserve. If we got what we really deserved, we'd be dead and in hell.
     
  4. Aaron

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    The "us" is His elect.

    (Man, that was easy.)
     
  5. webdog

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    From the K&D commentary...
    His range of vision being widened from himself, the poet now in Psa_103:6 describes God's gracious and fatherly conduct towards sinful and perishing men, and that as it shines forth from the history of Israel and is known and recognised in the light of revelation.

    The psalmist is writing this on behalf of Israel (believer and unbeliever within Israel alike). I don't see this statement in regards to the "elect" only.
     
  6. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    Lux has the correct answer. The psalmist is certainly referring to Israel- God's covenant people. They have strayed over and over, yet He has been faithful. The sins of the people were many and they were deserving of national destruction, yet time and again God gave them opportunities to repent.
    Even though I agreed with Lux, I thought that I would check a couple of commentaries. Here is what Calvin said:

    10. He hath not dealt with us after our sins. The Psalmist here proves from experience, or from the effect, what he has stated concerning the Divine character; for it was entirely owing to the wonderful forbearance of God that the Israelites had hitherto continued to exist. Let each of us, as if he had said, examine his own life; let us inquire in how many ways we have provoked the wrath of God? or, rather, do we not continually provoke it? and yet he not only forbears to punish us, but bountifully maintains those whom he might justly destroy.

    The WBC also agrees that this text is in reference to the nation of Israel and God's relenting of disaster to its people over their sinful ways.

    Matthew Henry wrote:
    (2.) We have found him so; we, for our parts, must own that he has not dealt with us after our sins, v. 10. The scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we may all set to our seal that it is true, that we have experienced it. If he had not been a God of patience, we should have been in hell long ago; but he has not rewarded us after our iniquities; so those will say who know what sin deserves. He has not inflicted the judgments which we have merited, nor deprived us of the comforts which we have forfeited, which should make us think the worse, and not the better, of sin; for God’s patience should lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).

    In summation, I amen Lux's post that this passage is about the long-suffering of God toward His people in this life. This pssage is not about a person's eternal destination.

    By the way, if it were not for God's long-suffering, there would be no debate as to the reality of hell, we would all be there to experience it for ourselves.
     
  7. Allan

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    I think you misunderstood Lux's meaning of the term 'us', as he is refering to to the same things Aaron and Tom were. That this is refering to believers only not all of Israel.
     
  8. Allan

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    I would state that this is not speaking of the eternal state of mankind (heaven and hell) but in His working in the physical realm, most specifically with Israel in the OT and by extension mankind
     
  9. Deacon

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    This psalm is another one of my favorites:
    It describes God's character particularly towards his faithful.

    He forgives,
    He heals
    He redeems
    He crowns
    He satisfies
    He executes acts of righteousness and justice
    He reveals

    He's compassionate and gracious
    He's slow to anger and full of faithful love

    He will not always accuse us or be angry
    He has not dealth with us as we deserve
    He has not repaid us according to our offenses

    He's faithful to his own
    He has established himself in heaven
    He rules over all


    Are your images of God challenged by reading this psalm? [O.T. God = justice / N.T. God = love]

    How did Christ live-out these aspects of God’s character during his earthly ministry, his death and resurrection?

    And to finally answer your question: They might say that since there is a hope of release from hell, it fulfills this characteristic of God.

    Rob
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    The verse I believe is about God's grace and mercy to His people among mankind, not to mankind.

    Those who do pay for their sins in hell do so because they had no Savior from the beginning who paid for their sins in eternity past and at the cross 2000 years ago.
     
  11. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    Allan,
    Thank you and you are correct. I posted past my bedtime and, to be completely honest, didn't even notice "us". I focused in on Lux's point that the Psalmist was referring to temporal matters. I believe that the nation of Israel was the focus of the Psalm and that, as a nation, God had not given them their just punishment. This was due to God's grace alone.

    I will try to either post pre-time or read with a cup of coffee in the future. God bless and sorry for the misunderstanding.
     
  12. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
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    I agree with your point, but even the unredeemed do not escape the application of this verse. God is long-suffering even to those who are not His. In fact, we can think of several examples of God's long-suffering toward people who were not His, nor would ever be. God has not repaid them according to their deeds in this life, but He has appointed a time in which there will be justice. I believe that the Psalmist was praising the Lord who has not destroyed the Nation of Israel even though they had it coming.

    Similarly, I praise the Lord for allowing America to continue even though it is deserving of judgment. The fact that America deserves destruction comes from its sins- done by those of the church as well as those outside the church. The fact that a long-suffering God relents from the destruction in order that we may repent affects Christians and non-Christians alike. I believe this was the Psalmists point in his own day.
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    The verse in reference here does not have in view those who are not His. It has in view the redeemed of the Lord. That is is "us" referred to in that verse.

    Now, there is nothing wrong with taking a verse and making an inference. However, it is not needed. We can look to Scripture that speaks directly to God's thoughts and disposition to the wicked, rather than taking a verse and making an inference.

    What do you think?
     
  14. Lux et veritas

    Lux et veritas
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    Hold it just a second. In your anxiousness to disagree with me on all things, wouldn't you like to know what I believe, rather than say what you think?

    For the record, I believe this verse in Psalms has both a primary and secondary meaning (Like many verses in scripture), and that the Psalmist is referring to God's covenant people (Israel) primarily, but also there is a secondary (or applicatory aspect) to believers in all generations.

    Further, there is an aspect, as Calvin says, in which this could be applied to even unbelievers in this life.

    I might recommend that you might want to check in before you post what you think I believe. You know how frustrating it is to have people saying you believe something that you don't!:thumbs:
     
  15. Crucified in Christ

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    Thank you Reformed and you make an excellent point, but I was not trying to make an inference. IMO, the Psalmist is speaking about the nation of which he is a member- thus the "us". If he, instead, means that it is only the faithful Israel, that is also fine with me. Remember, we have to watch inference in both directions; God has shown his long-suffering nature to all people. He is slow to wrath, but in the end, the wicked will meet that wrath. In the meantime, God will do as He pleases...knowing that is enough for me on this subject.
    God bless you.
     
  16. Allan

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    First I am not 'looking' for a reason to disagree with you, but since this is a deboard most of our interaction will be on opposite sides. That primarily because I have choosen not to be posting quite as much as previously so I mostly only post when I am in disagrement. You have given many posts in which I am in agreement, I just didn't post it. So understand please that my posting happen to be on certain things I disagree with, and not just you in particular. It just so happens that lately it is with some of your posts :)

    WHen you say 'Israel' do you mean, all Israel (both saved and unsaved alike)?
    Or
    Do you mean Israel, as is 'True Israel' - believers?

    If you mean believers with in Israel then you secondary would makes sense as it's primary is speaking of believers the secondary would also in principle.

    However, if you mean this verse holds to 'all' in Israel, then your secodary is made null and void of any meaning.
     
  17. Crucified in Christ

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    I think that we are, at least, very close in agreement after all. I am new to this board, so I apologize if I also misrepresented your earlier view. Anyway, we all would have to admit that there is no one upon the earth who has not benefited from God's long-sufferingness (if that is indeed a word). If God repaid our trespasses immediately and without grace, we would all be hell-bound immediately upon our first sin. We need to constantly remind ourselves that when we break one part of God's law, we have broken the whole of it.
    In this way, I believe that the Psalmist looked at his own sins, and those of his fellow Israelites (both believing and unbelieving) and praised God that He is a loving God. He had every right to destroy the nation, yet He did not. The nation of Israel did not persevere because of the goodness of the redeemed, it persevered because of the grace of God and for His glory alone.
     
  18. Lux et veritas

    Lux et veritas
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    Yes, I do.
     
  19. Allan

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    So which is it? To All of ethnic Israel (saved and not alike), or only the believers within Israel?
     
  20. Lux et veritas

    Lux et veritas
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    I'm thinking this statement is both grammatically and logically "null and voice of any meaning". Honestly, I can't follow your line of reasoning here.
     

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