Summary: Message focusing on the magnificent benefits of our salvation and the need to not ever forget them.
This is considered one of the most beautiful expressions in all the Scripture. It aptly and passionately communicates the glorious gospel message. Many of the phrases in this psalm are familiar as they have repeatedly been sent to music. Before we can fully appreciate the wonder of this Psalm, we need to set the scene. It was written by King David. It obviously flowed out of a heart intimately familiar with the many benefits itemized here. Poetry seeks to draw pictures in the mind that stir the soul. Like a magnificent piece of art, this Psalm portrays two intricately related subjects. We have a quite extensive portrait of a Holy and just God powerfully and mercifully interacting with sinful and weak mankind.
The dark and sorry state of man clearly emerges throughout the Psalm.
Insignificant as dust
Weak and frail
Sick and diseased
In contrast to the pathetic creature is the all powerful Creator.
Yahweh – the Great “I AM!”
Commander and chief of a powerful angel army, who perform His word perpetually, obey His voice explicitly, serve Him wholly and do His will fully. The artist then employs the soft colors of compassion, grace, love, tender mercy, goodness, giving, covenant keeping and renewal and redemption to portray the interaction between pathetic creature and powerful Creator. It was enough to incite David to not only stir his own soul to passionate praise but a fervent invitation to all creation to join him in blessing the Lord.
I. David stirred his soul to bless the Lord 1-2
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefit
David used “soul” in the sense of his inner person; the inner core of his being. It is the aspect of our being that contemplates, reflects, thinks, feels emotion, dreams dreams, struggles with introspection. He frequently addressed his inner core out loud. The parallel language here seems to confirm such an interpretation. “All that is within me.”
Here, he stirs himself to bless the Lord with every aspect of His being. Pull out all the stops.
Bless the Lord with words, thoughts, actions, emotions, intentions, passions. Give full concentration and effort to blessing the Lord. He centers His focus on the eternal covenant making and keeping God. Yahweh, the great I AM!
“Bless his Holy name.”
Proverbs indicates the value of a good name.
A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold. Prov 22:1
How people use our name can offend us or bless us. They can either blaspheme (speak evil) or bless (speak well). History bears out the association of a name with a person or particular character both negative and positive. Jezebel, John Hancock, Benedict Arnold
David stirs his soul to passionately bless God’s name for it is holy. His name is special.
His name is above every name. His name represents the essence of His nature and therefore should be treated with utmost care. The honorable treatment of His name is one of the top Ten Commandments. David stirs himself to bless His most holy and precious name.
What does it mean to bless the Lord?
“bless” always means to express solemn words that show the appreciation, gratitude, respect, joint relationship, or good will of the speaker, thus promoting respect for the one being blessed….
We bless the Lord by expressing words that show our gratitude and good will toward Him as well as the wonder of our relationship with Him that stir others to consider Him as well.
It is similar to glorifying the LORD. To glorify the Lord is to draw attention to Him. That is our supreme purpose – glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We also draw further insight into what it means to bless the LORD by the following parallel phrase penned by David.
“and forget none of His benefit”
We bless the Lord when we don’t forget what He has done for us. Or putting it in the positive, we bless the Lord by remembering what He has done for us. How easily we can forget God’s continual touch on our life! David doesn’t stop with at simple reminder to remember His benefits. He spent the rest of the Psalm detailing those most bountiful benefits.
II. David stated the reason to bless LORD 3-5
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The enumerated benefits break down into two categories. Redemptive and restorative.