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|“BLESS the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name”|
Bible Witness Media Ministry has published a new devotional book—365 Daily Exhortations from God’s Word—by the Rev Dr Prabhudas Koshy. Here are the first two exhortations:
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
This is the first line of a psalm of praise which glorifies the LORD for all His gracious blessings upon His servant, David. The object of praise in this psalm is the LORD; that is clearly set forth right at the beginning of the verse when it says, “Bless the LORD”. The LORD is worthy of our praise at all times. As Psalm 145:3 tells us, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised” (cf. Psalms 48:1; 96:4; 147:5).
What does it mean to say “Bless the LORD”? When the LORD “blesses” us, He mercifully bestows upon us His goodness. However, when we “bless” God, we add nothing to Him, for He lacks nothing, and needs nothing from us. Our blessing the LORD is a grateful acknowledgment that He is the source of all our blessings. When we joyfully recognise and exclaim that the LORD has done great things for us, and praise Him for His blessings, we bless the LORD. Each of His children must say, “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1; cf. Deuteronomy 8:10; 1 Chronicles 29:20; Nehemiah 9:5; Psalms 16:7; 26:12; 34:1; 103:1–2, 20, 22; 104:1; 115:18; 134:2; 135:19–20).
The psalmist’s commitment to worship and praise the LORD is revealed in his self-exhortation: “Bless the Lord, O my soul”. Furthermore, he summons all his powers and passions to praise the LORD, saying, “and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” A genuine worshipper would employ his heart, his mind, his emotions and all his strength to render praises to the LORD.
Twice in this verse, the psalmist urges himself to bless the LORD. Such reiteration would help the believer to avoid slothfulness or negligence that would prevent him from worshipping the LORD wholeheartedly. He fortifies his self-exhortation to bless the LORD by citing another solemn reason for the worship of the LORD, namely, the fact that the LORD is holy. So he says, “bless his holy name.”
It is most reasonable that we bless the LORD, for He is holy. Before the LORD who is holy, we must bow in humble and solemn prostration. Like the seraphims, the angelic hosts that surround the heavenly throne, we must worship the Lord, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Psalm 99:5 also teaches us: “Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.”
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
The proper response to divine favours received is a personal commitment to
bless the LORD. Thankfulness leads the beneficiary to worship the Giver, who is the LORD. In the previous verse, the psalmist has already exhorted his soul twice to bless the LORD. Now for a third time, he says, “Bless the LORD”. Such repetition denotes the earnestness of his desire to express his gratitude. Besides, he stirs up his soul to employ itself in grateful worship of the LORD. The worship of the LORD must arise from the inner man. It is a soul-work. Jesus reprimanded those who engaged in “lip-worship”. Citing Isaiah, He said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8; cf. Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31). No worship exists when the heart is not sincerely and earnestly employed in praising the LORD.
In Deuteronomy 8:10–14, the LORD warned Israel against forgetting His benefits – “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God ...”
Recollecting and recognising the LORD’s help, guidance, rebuke, promises, spiritual blessings, physical provisions, strength, hope, etc. will provide genuine impetuses for the worship of His name. Grateful emotions make the soul yearn to bless the LORD. Recognition of the LORD’s blessings in his life causes the psalmist to cry out: “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people” (Psalm 116:12–14).
In order to mould oneself to be a better worshipper of the LORD, one should awaken one’s memory to the benefits one has received from the LORD. Our memory is like a large storehouse. Recollection will bring to our present awareness those things stored up in the memory, producing powerful emotions of gratitude and worship in our hearts.
This excellent devotional book may be purchased from Bible Witness Bookroom (531 Upper Cross St, #02-48 Hong Lim Complex) or FEBC Bookroom (10 Gilstead Road). At the book table today for just $18 (special price).
Dr Jose Lagapa
As we start the New Year, we probably have in mind some things to change and some ways in our lives to improve on. No one wants to begin the New Year with a lot of troubles. Everyone wants a good and a fresh start. We all want to be on the right track. We think that if we can begin well then at least we have the hope of doing better and end this year with much success.
The Word of God has a very good and wise counsel for all of us. In Joshua 1:8 it says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (emphasis added). It means that we must make the Bible a part of our daily lives. The Word of God must be the guiding thought that occupies our minds. It must rule our hearts’ desires. Its teachings must be practiced in every moment of our lives. If we do these, the Bible says, we will experience a life full of blessings and we shall be successful in all the things that we will do. This is a wonderful promise for all of us!
When the Lord says, “it shall not depart out of thy mouth,” it describes a daily regular reading, understanding and even memorizing of the Bible. Reading is not like looking at “komiks” but there must be a prayerful seeking for understanding. Now, it is reserved only to those who are Spirit-led. That is, if you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. When you believe
in Jesus, you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and you can then understand spiritual
things, “but the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). It is not to see is to believe, but believe first and then you will surely see!
The idea of meditating is to always think about the words of the Bible. You might read one verse in the morning, but you have to keep on recalling it and pray to the Lord to know how to apply it. Our memory verses can be a source of these which you can repeatedly remember and then apply in your daily lives.
The Bible assures a prosperous way. Prosperity here refers to the abundant provisions from the Lord. You may ask, how? It is by walking in the Lord’s way. When you do so you cannot but be blessed by Him. This blessing is spiritual. It satisfies the longing of souls and innermost emotions. Material prosperity is temporary and does not give true joy!
There is good success if you are walking in God’s way. That is true success! Its rewards do not fade away! The price and the profit are eternal, therefore, it is enjoyed forever. You can only avail yourself to this wonderful assurance if you are meditating on the Word of God, day and night, and do according to what God says. (Taken from the Filipino Bible Fellowship bulletin, 15 January 2017.)
Pr Tann Heng
Word of Life BPC, Siem Reap
We praise God for providing us with a Tuk Tuk. We bought the Tuk Tuk a few days ago. It cost USD2250 (special promotion). Pr William Goh sponsored USD1500 for Tuk Tuk.
From next week onwards we are using this Tuk Tuk for children’s ministry. We praise God for His provision for His work in Cambodia. “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber” (Ps 121:2–3).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
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