Blessing

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read his archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com .

Psalm 134:1–3 (ESV)
1 Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!


The Lord is worthy of blessing. He counts us as worthy to serve Him, which is remarkable in itself considering our sinful rebellion against Him. He’s worth working through the night to serve!

The raising of hands in worship isn’t a pentecostal innovation. It is present in this three thousand year old Psalm as well! If our faith doesn’t move our bodies to worship it could be argued that we don’t have very strong faith. Thankfully what matters isn’t so much the strength of our faith but the object of our faith: God.

God isn’t some inanimate object that we bless with no hope of blessing in return. Every good gift is from Him. He’s always blessing us.

Wanting and expecting God to bless us isn’t some vain desire. He’s the one who simply spoke and the universe came into existence. Nothing is too hard for Him.

“We bless You Lord, for You are worthy of our worship. May we worship You all of our days and nights, and may You bless us too in Your great love, in Jesus’ name, amen.”


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A Blessing or a Curse?

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page to follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.(Proverbs 27:14, ESV)

I Will Recount All of Your Wonderful Deeds

Psalm 91 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 9:1–2 (ESV)

(1) I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
(2) I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Understanding and Applying the Word

O how loving and gracious our God is! Take the time to consider his kindness and grace in your life. As I read the words of verse 1, “I will recount all of your wonderful deeds”, I am reminded of the song Count Your Blessings. Let us do that and let us praise the Lord for he is worthy of our praise.

As we think of the many blessings of God in our lives, let us not forget the greatest gift he has given. The Father has given his Son for our salvation. Jesus Christ went to the cross to bring salvation and life to all who would believe. Let us lift up our voices in worship and adoration for such a great and loving God!

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Blessed Is the One

Psalm 11–2 [widescreen]

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Psalm 1:1–6 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

It Is Good to Give Thanks

thank you signage

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Reading the Word

Psalm 92:1–15 (ESV)

1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

5 How great are your works, O LORD!
Your thoughts are very deep!
6 The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
8 but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
9 For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.

10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the LORD is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Understanding and Applying the Word

As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a wonderful time to be thankful. When I think about that, the song Count Your Blessings immediately comes to mind. If we pause to consider how God has blessed us, we will quickly become overwhelmed. God is good!

The opening of this psalm tells us that it is good to give thanks and sing praises to God. Our praise should encompass our whole day, from morning until night. Christians should be known as thankful people because our praise for our Lord should be frequent and evident to all. The remainder of the psalm tells us that God’s people can rest secure in him because he provides for us and ensures our future.

Take time today to count your blessings and give thanks to our good God!

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I Will Sing a New Song

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Reading the Word

Psalm 144:9–15 (ESV)

9 I will sing a new song to you, O God;
upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
10 who gives victory to kings,
who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

12 May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;
13 may our granaries be full,
providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
and ten thousands in our fields;
14 may our cattle be heavy with young,
suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this psalm, David give thanks to God for give him victory. In response to all tat God has done, David worships in song and proclaims that God is a God of great blessing to his people.

As God’s people, we too have much to be thankful for. We especially have reason to praise God for the salvation we have in Christ. It is Jesus who came into this world to bring victory to his people over the power of sin and death. And it is through Jesus that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Let us also take up a song on our lips as we sing praises to our great God for all he has done for us.

**Want to read the Bible every day? Be sure to subscribe to this page and follow along! We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms. In 2019, we will focus on the Life of Christ for our daily readings.

The Blessed

boy wearing green crew neck shirt jumping from black stone on seashore

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Reading the Word

Psalm 128:1–6 (ESV)

1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.

5 The LORD bless you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
6 May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm tells us that the one who fears the Lord is blessed. To “fear” God is to understand who we are in relation to him. He is our Creator, the one who sustains us, and the one who is Judge over all. We are called to live in obedience and will one day give an account before the Lord.

The psalm describes blessing as prospering in our work, being fruitful in our families, and living long lives. This is wonderful! However, when we consider what we read elsewhere in Scripture (e.g. Psalm 127), we know that this psalm is not offering a guarantee of such blessing. We are sinful and our lives are filled with disobedience, wrong thoughts and feelings, and improper motives. We do not fear the Lord as we ought. The blessings that we receive are by God’s grace.

We also must remember that we live in a sinful world where things often seem unfair. Those who are good struggle and those who are wicked seem to prosper (read Ecclesiastes for reflection on this truth). In the end, we must realize that the great blessings, prosperity, and peace that we long for will not be realized until we are with Christ in the new heaven and new earth. In the new creation there will be no sin, the wicked will be judged, and God’s people will experience true blessing and fellowship with the Lord. What a day that will be!

**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!

He Is Their Help and Shield

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Reading the Word

Psalm 115:9–18 (ESV)

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. 11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. 12 The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron; 13 he will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, you and your children! 15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth! 16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence. 18 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

What do you trust in? The psalmist calls on us to trust in the Lord. He is the one who is trustworthy. He is the one who can protect and save. And he is the one who blesses.

Who is better able to bless than the Creator? The heavens and the earth are his. So, who do we trust in? Let us trust in the Lord and praise his name!

**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!

He Is Not Afraid of Bad News

Psalm 1127 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 112:1–10 (ESV)

1 Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! 2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. 5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. 7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. 9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. 10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!

Understanding and Applying the Word

The one who fears the Lord is blessed. This is in contrast to the wicked, who gnashes his teeth and perishes. The one who fears the Lord will have influential offspring, wealth and riches, and will be remembered.

But what about when things do not go so well? What about when the circumstances do not seem to be a blessing at all? The one who fears the Lord even finds hope in the midst of trouble. As verse 7 states, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” Those who belong to Christ, who trust in him, know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28). Even what may be considered “bad news” is used by God for the good of his people. We have no reason to be afraid because God is in control and we trust him with every detail.

What are you facing today that causes you to fear? Know that God is in control of your situation and he is using it for your good. Let your heart be firm and trust in the Lord!

**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!

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!