Psalm 103:4 – “Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.”
The amazing blessings of God come into more focus in this verse. God forgives all of our sins and heals all our diseases. He is a God who is 100% in sovereign control. An amazing God who is capable of doing miraculous things, in fact more things than we could ever ask or imagine and He does all of those things well.
But He is not only Sovereign and in control. He is also personal and the picture that the psalmist paints here in verse 4 is a picture of a Father. His child somehow falls into slavery, and the Father diligently searches to find that child and then does what is necessary to set him free. Jesus pointed to this when He said, “I have come to seek and save that which was lost.” He is searching for His lost children and once He finds them He does what is necessary to redeem them.
The word “redeem” is a word that we don’t use a lot but it is a word that means to set free. God sets us free and here it is a word that means to set free with an implication of paying a price. God has freed us from slavery and the way that He did that was by paying a price for us. What was that price? It was the price of His Son upon the cross. He died to pay a price for us. He died to set us free. He paid the price so that we might live. No wonder the Bible says, “greater love has no man than this, than He lay down His life for His friends.” Jesus laid down His life to redeem us, to set us free from slavery, and the way that He does that is by paying the price on the cross for us. God loves us that much.
That love comes further into focus when we look at the depth of the word “redeem.” It not only means to set free by paying a price, but it also means to avenge. The picture that David the author of Psalm 103 is painting is a picture of a father who avenges the hurt of his child. So not only does God set us free but He also avenges us. He avenges us by destroying those things that plague us. Again one day the Bible makes it clear that He will destroy death and sin and Satan forever. We will be avenged. The wrath of God will fall not on us (even though we are certainly deserving because of our sins), but on Satan and on sin and on death. God’s word says that “the lake of fire is reserved for the devil and his angels.” Certainly we are redeemed now and one day we will be avenged, and God’s wrath will fall.
This passage goes even further than that however as it tells us that God our Father, after He rescues us and pulls us out of the pit of sin will crown us with steadfast love and mercy. The word crown means to surround. God will surround us with His love, a love that will never change. A love that is constant, and He will also give us His mercy. The Bible says “He lavishes His love on us.” God is the loving Father, who does that for us as His children, and He did it through His work on the cross on our behalf. To God be the glory.