In this psalm King David opens with this phrase, which has become very popular with modern song writers. It is an instruction to himself, to his soul, encouraging himself to worship the one true God.
He instructs himself to “Bless the LORD”. The word “bless” in the Hebrew language comes from the word “Kneel” in English, which implies adoration. And how was he to bless the LORD? Let “all that is within me”! He was to love God with all his heart, soul and strength” (Mark 12 v 30). No distraction allowed!
What else was he instructing himself to do? “Forget not all His benefits.” Which were:
• Forgives all your iniquities
• Heals all your diseases
• Redeems your life from destruction
• Crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies
• Satisfies your mouth with good things
• Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
What wonderful blessings David had to give thanks to God for!
In verses 6 to 10 David expounds on the character of the LORD, that He is righteous and just (v 6) and yet merciful and gracious (v 8). He does not deal with us as we deserve (v 10).
God’s mercy is great (v 11), He has removed our sins (v 12). As a father with his children, he pities us and knows our weakness (vs 13, 14).
We humans are compared to grass, weak and temporary, but because we fear God and keep His covenant, He has mercy on us (vs 15 – 18).
The LORD is King (v 19).
Who are instructed to bless God?
• His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word and heed His voice (v 20)
• All His hosts, His ministers, who do His pleasure (v 21)
• All His works throughout His kingdom (v 22)
“Bless the LORD, O my soul!”
How can God be righteous and just, and yet merciful and forgiving? David knew that this was a dilemma, but I am sure that he recognised that God was preparing a sacrifice which would remove the penalty of sin for those who loved God and feared Him. That sacrifice was to be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, who gave himself for the sin of the world. This redemption would be available for all those who believed in Him and received Him. So we can encourage ourselves to “Bless the LORD.”