Blessing the Lord…

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Psalms over the past couple of weeks.  In particular, I’ve been drawn to Psalm 103, which starts off in the following fashion:

“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:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV)

I’ve been reading it in the New King James Version all week–that’s the version I use most often for study.  I’ve gotten used to that wording and it caused me to think about how delightful it is that it would be possible for me…me, a mere human…to bless the Lord of all the earth.  The very idea of the created being able to bless the Creator…now, that’s very cool.  Oh, how I want to do that!

As I read through it again this morning, I was using the Holman Christian Study Bible–the one I carry in the truck with me–and I immediately noticed the difference in translation of the first word:  “Bless the Lord” becomes “Praise the Lord” in the HCSB.

That’s the key, you know.  When we praise the Lord–in heart, in word, in deeds, in thought or in song–that’s when we bless Him.

When you look up the root word for the verb “bless”, you’ll find that it is eulogeo which literally means, “to speak well of”…and that’s what we do when we praise Him.

Speaking well of God is easy enough when things are going our way, but what of those times when they aren’t?  Are we as deliberate in our praise then?  Are we as determined to speak well of God when He doesn’t do things the way we would prefer or the way we think He should?  I’m convinced that these are the times of praise that bless God’s heart the most!  These are the ones that are based on what we KNOW and not on what we FEEL…the ones based in the unfailing truth of His Word and, indeed, they are the times when we need to make that choice the most.

No matter where you find yourself today, I hope you will join me in saying:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!”




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