What does Psalm 103:18 mean?
ESV: to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
NIV: with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
NASB: To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts, so as to do them.
CSB: of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts.
NLT: of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
KJV: To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
NKJV: To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
Verse Commentary:
In this verse David identifies those who fear the Lord. This is not a cowering, terror-filled kind of fear. This is the humble respect given from a created being to their Creator. Those who "fear" God honor and obey Him. Within the nation of Israel, this meant those who kept the covenant the Lord made with Israel and who obeyed His commandments.

However, the Lord's promise to reward generations of Israelites was not an unconditional or one-sided promise. Rebellious Jews could not claim it simply because they were members of God's chosen nation by birth. When leadership was about to pass from Moses to Joshua, the Lord told Moses the people of Israel would eventually become idolatrous. He said, "Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?'" (Deuteronomy 31:17).

The religious leaders in Jesus' day mistakenly relied on their physical link to Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, to credit them with righteousness. In contrast, Jesus told them their actions proved they belonged to the Devil (John 8:39–44). Jesus taught that His friends are those who obey His commands (John 15:14).
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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