Bless The Lord, O My Soul

Fall came in like a lion this week. I know I’m mixing my metaphors and changing the season this phrase was written for, but trust me - it’s the truth. I think half the leaves on the property blew into another county over the weekend, and I even had to wear earmuffs in the mornings to take the dogs outside. That’s Iowa in October for you.

But despite all this, I have to ask myself if my heart’s in the right place. Am I more concerned about getting a few more minutes of sleep than getting up and doing Bible study? Do I mumble under a my breath as I take the puppies out into the cold, or am I thankful that we have three amazing companions? Heart condition and heart attitude are so important in every season, not just when the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm.

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1

Between Psalm 103 and 104, we find the phrase Bless the Lord, O my soul five times. We don’t know if it was David who wrote Psalm 104, but the repeated use of this phrase leads many scholars to think he did. The writer doesn’t really matter, but the God he’s speaking about and the heart attitude he has matters very much.

David begins Psalm 103 with these words, reminding himself that blessings are necessary here. The word bless is defined as praise and thanksgiving, neither of which comes naturally. Our minds and hearts have to be trained to bless, praise and give thanks. So David stirs up everything inside him to bless the Lord. Sometimes we need a little cheerleading in our lives, don’t we?

In Psalm 103:2, David encourages himself to remember all the benefits and blessings God has given. They’re all praiseworthy and perfect. In Psalm 103:22 and Psalm 104:1, he writes about the greatness of God’s works and thee honor and majesty of the Lord. David looked beyond the circumstances of the day and used his time more productively - giving honor to God, praising Him and thanking Him for all He had done.

And then he wraps things up at the end of Psalm 104 the way he began it, with the words Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 104:35

My prayer for all of us this week is that we will spend more time blessing, praising and thanking God for His work in our lives than we do mumbling and complaining. When our focus is on the greatness of God, our tiny little situations don’t seem so important or concerning. So let’s look at the blessings of God and name them ton by ton.

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