BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL!
"Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits.... Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty?" (Psalm 103:1-2; 104:1 NKJV).
The book of Psalms is full of praises of, and prayers to God. Psalms 103 and 104 are distinct out of the other psalms because of their description of who God is and what He is doing to us that make Him deserve our worship, adoration, praises and thanksgiving.
In Psalms 103, the psalmist urged his soul not to forget all the benefits of God. What are these benefits? He enumerated them in this Psalm 103: the Lord forgives all his sins (verse 3a); the Lord heals all his diseases (verse 3b); the Lord redeems his life from destruction (verse 4a); the Lord crowns him with love and compassion (verses 4b, 8, 11, 13, 17); and the Lord satisfies his desires with good things (verse 5).
The psalmist declared that the Lord did all those things to his soul, hence, the exclamation to his soul to bless the Lord. He went further to declare other things that the Lord has done and is doing to him as well as other people: the Lord is just to the oppressed (verse 6); the Lord led the Israelites out of slavery through Moses (verse 7); the Lord is gracious and slow to anger (verses 8-10); and in His compassion and love, He treats us like children (verses 10-14).
Having declared the goodness (or benefits) of God, the psalmist entreated the angels and all the heavenly hosts to join him in blessing the Lord. He even entreated you and me, His works, to also bless the Lord.
In Psalm 104, the psalmist started with the greatness of God. The greatness of God is manifested in His creation: He stretches out the heavens like a tent (verse 2b); He sets the earth on its unmovable foundations (verse 5) and covers it with the deep (verse 6a); He sets the course of water (verses 6b-9); He satisfies the earth and other creatures by His work (verses 10-13); He makes the earth produce food for the animals and even man (verses 14-15); He provides dwelling place for His creatures (verses 16-18); and He marks off seasons, days and years by the sun and the moon (verses 19-23). The psalmist continues to describe how God made His creation in wisdom, and all these creatures look unto God for sustenance (verses 24-29).
Having considered all these things, the psalmist concludes that the glory of God will endure for ever and that he would respond to God's greatness by singing to Him all his life and that he would find pleasure in meditating about it.
Undoubtedly, you also will have many things to praise the Lord for. Think of those things. Do not forget all His benefits. Recount them and praise the Lord. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor)
Internet Ministry Officer,
Nigerian Baptist Convention
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