Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Psalm 103:1-8 Not Bless Me but Bless God!

KEY TEXT: Psalms 103:1-5 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 iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. 

KEY THOT: The word “bless” (Heb: barak) is derived from a primitive root meaning “to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit)” [Strong’s]. In Scripture, it is more often we use barak in the sense of God blessing man (divine benefits), but in this psalm,we are asked to do the reverse—to bless (barak) the Lord. This implies an act of worship (kneeling and adoration). What inspires this act of “blessing God” in our worship? It is his benefits to us. So our praise and worship is our heartfelt response to God blessing us. This completes the cycle of worship: we bless because He has first blessed us. So the psalmist David reminds us not to forget his benefits, which he enumerates as follows:
  • forgives all your iniquity”: God has forgiven us of our sins. We don't have to be condemned by our sins. We only need to confess and be cleansed (1 John 1:9).
  • heals all your diseases”: God has kept us sickness-free and healthy by feeding our spirit with His Spirit and Word. A spirit that is alive to God sustains the life and energy of our soul and body and keeps sicknesses away. But a spirit that is drained of God's life will weaken our immune system and makes us vulnerable to diseases. 
  • redeems your life from the pit”: God has delivered us from pit of hell, so that we will be with Him when we die. We are saved not only from our sin but also from the consequence of our sin--eternal separation from God.
  • crowns you with steadfast love and mercy”: God has caused us to enjoy His love and favour everyday. If our lives are aligned with his will, we will experience his steadfast love and mercy.
  • satisfies you with good”: God has satisfied us with all the good things in life that we need for physical survival, emotional security and spiritual significance.
  • your youth is renewed like the eagle's”: God has given us a new spirit that is continually rejuvenating our soul and body even as we age. In the realm of the spirit, we don't grow older--only younger as the years go by: "he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you" (Romans 8:11).
So, knowing how blessed we are in Christ turns our prayer (“bless me”) into praise (“bless God”)! Blessing God in praise and worship is the only "ministry" that is for the Lord alone, for no one else can receive this ministry. In our various ministries to man, let's not forget the most important ministry of all - to the Lord himself. So, blessing God pleases Him more than anything else.

We have many reasons to bless God. So let's bless the Lord with the following song. We have 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord, so let’s do it now: 

Father, thank You that You have blessed us with so many blessings. And now we would want to return this favour to You in our praise and worship. Amen.

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