Bless the Lord

Psalm 1031 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 103:1–5 (ESV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The opening is a call to “bless” the Lord because of all he does. It is the Lord who forgives sin, heals us, redeems us, shows his love for us, and gives so many good things.

It may seem odd that we could “bless” the Lord. God alone can bless, right? The Hebrew word barak stands behind the English translation. It can mean “to praise, bless, or adore”. In the context of this psalm, it seems best to understand it as a call to praise and adore the Lord for all he does for us. Verse 2 is especially important to this psalm as it calls on us to “forget not all his benefits”. We need to remind ourselves of all of the good things God has done and continues to do. As the old song says, we should “count your blessings…and see what God has done.” And let us praise him for those things!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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Blessed Is the One

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Reading the Word

Psalm 94:11–15 (ESV)

11 the Lord—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath. 12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, 13 to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; 15 for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In verse 10, we read about how God disciplines and teaches the nations. Here in these verses, we read about the one who is wise and responds in a more positive way to the Lord’s discipline and teaching. The one who learns from the word of God (i.e. the law) is blessed. He finds rest from days of trouble and does not suffer the same fate as the wicked, who await a pit dug for them (the grave).

The word of God is a wonderful thing. The wise person treasures it because of its immeasurable value. It not only tells us of all that God has done, especially through Jesus Christ, but it also tells us how we ought to live in this world. God’s word tells us how the Creator designed us and what brings greatest satisfaction and joy. The things we find in God’s word are often at odds with the ways of the world. We are wise to listen to him and learn from him.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

May God Bless Us

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Reading the Word

Psalm 67:1–7 (ESV)

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm is a prayer for blessing. This is not surprising to us. We often pray for the same thing in our daily lives. What sets this psalm apart from our requests for blessing is the motivation this psalmist has for his request.

As the psalmist seeks God’s blessing he emphasizes that it is through such blessing that God’s way and His saving power would be known on the earth. As God’s people are blessed, the world would become aware of who God is and they too would turn to Him. The end result would be that all people would praise God!

What are our motives when we ask God to bless us? Are we asking simply to fulfill our desires or are we asking in order that God might be glorified through His blessings in our lives? May all that we receive from the hand of God result in our praise and the praise of others.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!