What does Psalm 103:10 mean?
ESV: He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
NIV: he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
NASB: He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our guilty deeds.
CSB: He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our iniquities.
NLT: He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
KJV: He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
NKJV: He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
Verse Commentary:
This verse contains a strong admission of Israel's sin and guilt as well as a tribute to God's forgiveness. If God punished every sinner as that sinner deserves to be punished, no sinner would be allowed to enter heaven. Even worse, the Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Humanity getting what we deserve would mean every single one of us being separated from God, forever.

The Old Testament prophet Ezra understood that God does not punish us to the extent we deserve. He said, "And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved" (Ezra 9:13). Contrary to punishing us as we deserve, God loved us and gave His Son for us (John 3:16–17).

Jesus took the full punishment for our sins by dying in our place on the cross. Romans 5:6 announces: "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:8 says "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Those who accept this are saved (John 3:16–18), but those who reject it are not (John 3:36).
Verse Context:
Psalm 103:6–19 reflects on the Lord's benefits to Israel. Deuteronomy 6:1–15 contains the Lord's promise to bless the people of Israel if they would obey him. Psalm 105 and 106 are companion psalms that stress the Lord's goodness to Israel.
Chapter Summary:
Psalm 103 praises God for what He has done. This includes celebration of His personal influence, as well as the way God has blessed the nation of Israel. David encourages praises from himself, from the people in general, and even from the angels and hosts of heaven.
Chapter Context:
Psalm 103 is one of four psalms which complete the fourth division of the book of Psalms (Psalms 90—106). These four psalms ascribe praise to the Lord. Psalm 103 was written by David and expresses his gratitude to the Lord for all His benefits. First Thessalonians 5:18 conveys the same theme of thanksgiving by exhorting believers to ''give thanks in all circumstances.''
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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