Monthly Archives: September 2012

Psalms alive!


Psalms 103 and 104: these psalms are neighbors.  They are both loud and boisterous, but neither minds.  I’d like to spend some time in their neighborhood.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name! (Psalm 103:1)

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great! (Psalm 104:1)

Psalm 96 is not a neighbor, but it is definitely on the same train line:

O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation day by day. (Psalm 96:1-2)

There’s lots to love here.  All the “O”s and exclamation points: so much drama and excitement!  But why is there drama and excitement?  Because these psalms shout out a blessing to God!

Strange to think that we can “bless” God.  What does that mean? it can’t mean that we add to anything that He is already.  He is holy, perfect.  He is the one who saves us.  How do we bless God?… By responding to who He is, and what He has done. With “O”s and exclamation points.  With song.  By telling stories about his great rescue.

I love these Psalms because they remind me that my prehistory, history, present and future are all punctuated with exclamation marks.  And God put them there! So many reasons to praise who He is, and what He has done.

I love it that, as a church, our blessings cannot be monotone.  We bless God when we turn ourselves inside out to praise Him.  Because everyone has uniquely packed insides, everyone will sing out Psalm 103:1 differently.  But there will still be a beautiful harmony because blessing the Lord also involves our obedience to Him.  And when we bless the Lord in this way we sing in harmony with the angels above!

Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word! 

Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will! 

Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

(Psalm 103:20-22, ESV translation)

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