Psalm 103 - praise plus deep theological truth. Begins and ends with "Bless the Lord, O my soul." May be read after receiving the Lord's body and blood (while Psalm 51 may be read before).
- 1-2: parallel. Verse 1 is chiasmic (ABBA), as is John 1:1-14. Blessing God's name (e.g. in the Trinitarian invocation at beginning of service) = blessing God Himself. Verse 2 uses the negative statement instead of parallelism.
- 3-5: often misused by faith healers (works-healing and heaven on earth, which would make the real heaven not God's best). Rather, the verses point to heaven, where God will wipe all tears from the eyes of the saved.
- 6-12: gifts of grace, mercy, forgiveness of sins, and steadfast love! Verse 8 - compare Joel 2:13.
- 13-22: God's compassion. See "Ozymandias" (Shelley; first poem on page). Verses 20-22 - compare 1 Corinthians 6:3.
- Refrain (with variations): 6-9, 13-16, 19-22, and 28-32. Chesed = "mercy."
- Groups of people: wanderers, prisoners, fools (God-deniers), and sailors.
- Final group (33-43): The Lord curses, the Lord blesses.