Saint or Sinner?  Christians and their sin.
Psalms 103:1-22
Being a follower of God in any age does not mean being perfect, but walking with the One who is.
Audio from the author
Published March 23rd, 2016; Updated March 23rd, 2016
Share / Groups / About Author
Saint or Sinner?
Saint or Sinner?
What is the relationship that the saint - the person whose faith is in Christ - has with sin? 1 John 1 helps to explain this. The Apostle uses the idea of 'walking in the light' to describe the one whose faith is in Christ. He says that they still sin ( vs. 8 , 10 ), but God cleanses the one who is walking with Christ in the light, 'cleaning as they go' (confessing their sin, vs. 7 , 9 ). He says this sin is not the same as walking in the darkness ( vs. 6 ). But 1 John 1 is not the first time this concept has appeared. In Psalm 103, David gives us a similar picture of the person who is walking with God. The language he uses is the one who "fears the Lord" (Ps 103:11, 13, 17). This idea of 'fearing the Lord' means they are 'keeping his covenant'... 'remembering to do his commandments' (vs. 18). Does this mean keeping and remembering perfectly? Verse 10 shows that it is not: "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." Is that because He is not just? No. Like 1 John 1:9 speaks of God's justice, Psalm 103:6 shows that God also cares for and acts out justice. Like the Father who bears with the weakness and mess of His child (Ps 103:13-16), what a joy that we can be spiritually broken and messy in the presence of our Father, all because of the finished work of Christ (1 John 1:7). Saint or Sinner? Yes (for now).
Psalms 103:1-22
y Bless the Lord, O my soul,
Bendice, alma mía, al Señor a ,
a Bless the Lord, O my soul,
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Y bendiga todo mi ser Su santo nombre b .
And all that is within me, bless His b holy name.
With all that is within me, praise 1 his holy name!
y Bless the Lord, O my soul,
Bendice, alma mía, al Señor,
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
and z forget not all his benefits,
Y no olvides ninguno de Sus beneficios a .
And a forget none of His benefits;
Do not forget all his kind deeds! 2
who a forgives all your iniquity,
El es el que perdona todas tus iniquidades a ,
Who a pardons all your iniquities,
He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who b heals all your diseases,
El que sana todas tus enfermedades b ;
Who b heals all your diseases;
who heals all your diseases, 3
who c redeems your life from the pit,
El que rescata de la fosa tu vida a ,
Who a redeems your life from the pit,
who delivers 4 your life from the Pit, 5
who d crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
El que te corona de bondad y compasión b ;
Who b crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,
who e satisfies you with good
El que colma de bienes tus años a ,
Who a satisfies your 1 years with good things,
who satisfies your life with good things, 6
so that your youth is renewed like f the eagle’s.
Para que tu juventud se renueve como el águila b .
So that your youth is b renewed like the eagle.
so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s. 7
The Lord works g righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
El Señor hace justicia a , Y juicios a favor de todos los oprimidos b .
The Lord a performs 1 righteous deeds And judgments for all who are b oppressed.
The Lord does what is fair, and executes justice for all the oppressed. 8
perhaps the focus (in order to connect to context) of this action on behalf of the oppressed more mercy than justice? or justice in the context of mercy? therefore it fits with theme of following verses.
He made known his h ways to Moses,
A Moisés dio a conocer Sus caminos a ,
He a made known His ways to Moses,
The Lord revealed his faithful acts 9 to Moses,
his i acts to the people of Israel.
Y a los Israelitas Sus obras b .
His b acts to the sons of Israel.
his deeds to the Israelites.
The Lord is j merciful and gracious,
Compasivo y clemente es el Señor a ,
The Lord is a compassionate and gracious,
The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Lento para la ira y grande en misericordia b .
b Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
he is patient 10 and demonstrates great loyal love. 11
k He will not always chide,
No luchará con nosotros para siempre a ,
He a will not always strive with us,
He does not always accuse,
nor will he l keep his anger forever.
Ni para siempre guardará Su enojo b .
Nor will He b keep His anger forever.
and does not stay angry. 12
He does not deal with us m according to our sins,
No nos ha tratado según nuestros pecados a ,
He has a not dealt with us according to our sins,
He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; 13
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Ni nos ha pagado conforme a nuestras iniquidades.
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. 14
For n as high as the heavens are above the earth,
Porque como están de altos los cielos sobre la tierra a ,
For as high a as the heavens are above the earth,
For as the skies are high above the earth,
so great is his o steadfast love toward p those who fear him ;
Así es de grande Su misericordia para los que Le temen (reverencian).
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who 1 fear Him.
so his loyal love towers 15 over his faithful followers. 16
as far as the east is from the west,
Como está de lejos el oriente del occidente,
As far as the east is from the west,
As far as the eastern horizon 17 is from the west, 18
so far does he q remove our transgressions from us.
Así alejó de nosotros nuestras transgresiones a .
So far has He a removed our transgressions from us.
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions 19 from us.
As r a father shows compassion to his children,
Como un padre se compadece de sus hijos a ,
Just a as a father has compassion on his children,
As a father has compassion on his children, 20
so the Lord shows compassion p to those who fear him .
Así se compadece el Señor de los que Le temen.
So the Lord has compassion on those who 1 fear Him.
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers. 21
For he knows our frame; 1
Porque El sabe de qué estamos hechos a ,
For a He Himself knows 1 our frame;
For he knows what we are made of; 22
he s remembers that we are dust.
Se acuerda b de que sólo somos polvo c .
He b is mindful that we are but c dust.
he realizes 23 we are made of clay. 24
As for man, his days are like t grass;
El hombre, como la hierba son sus días a ;
As for man, his days are a like grass;
A person’s life is like grass. 25
he flourishes like u a flower of the field;
Como la flor del campo, así florece b ;
As a b flower of the field, so he flourishes.
Like a flower in the field it flourishes,
for v the wind passes over it,
Cuando el viento pasa sobre ella a ,
When the a wind has passed over it,
but when the hot wind 26 blows by,
and w it is gone,
deja de ser,
it is no more,
it disappears,
and x its place knows it no more.
Y su lugar ya no la reconoce b .
And its b place acknowledges it no longer.
and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
But y the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
Pero la misericordia del Señor es desde la eternidad hasta la eternidad a ,
But the a lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
But the Lord continually shows loyal love
on p those who fear him ,
para los que Le temen,
on those who 1 fear Him,
to his faithful followers, 27
and his righteousness to z children’s children,
Y su justicia para los hijos de los hijos b ,
And His 2 righteousness b to children’s children,
and is faithful to their descendants, 28
to those who a keep his covenant and b remember to do his commandments.
Para los que guardan Su pacto a Y se acuerdan de Sus preceptos para cumplirlos.
To a those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.
to those who keep his covenant, who are careful to obey his commands. 29
The Lord has c established his throne in the heavens,
El Señor ha establecido Su trono en los cielos a ,
The Lord has established His a throne in the heavens,
The Lord has established his throne in heaven;
and his d kingdom rules over all.
Y Su reino domina sobre todo b .
And His 1 b sovereignty rules over 2 all.
his kingdom extends over everything. 30
Bless the Lord, O you e his angels,
Bendigan al Señor, ustedes Sus ángeles a ,
Bless the Lord, you a His angels,
Praise the Lord, you angels of his,
you f mighty ones who g do his word,
Poderosos en fortaleza b , que ejecutan Su mandato c ,
b Mighty in strength, who c perform His word,
you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees
obeying the voice of his word!
Obedeciendo la voz de Su palabra d .
d Obeying the voice of His word!
and obey his orders! 31
Bless the Lord, all his h hosts,
Bendigan al Señor, ustedes todos Sus ejércitos a ,
Bless the Lord, all you a His hosts,
Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his, 32
his i ministers, who do his will!
Que Le sirven haciendo Su voluntad b .
You b who serve Him, doing His will.
you servants of his who carry out his desires! 33
j Bless the Lord, all his works,
Bendigan al Señor, ustedes todas Sus obras a ,
Bless the Lord, a all you works of His,
Praise the Lord, all that he has made, 34
in all places of his dominion.
En todos los lugares de Su dominio.
In all places of His dominion;
in all the regions 35 of his kingdom!
k Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Bendice, alma mía, al Señor.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Bible Knowledge Commentary makes 19 connected more strongly to the following and as an Inference. UBS Handbook on Psalms also connects 19 to 20, though not as strongly.
Since 19 is not talking about direct benefits like preceding verses, I also think it is then connected more (by default?) to what follows.
Actually, perhaps this is not a subordinate arc to what's above it... mercy is not the exact same as compassion. And here the basis of the compassion is not the cross of Christ, but our weakness.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.