When the Psalmist wrote “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” he was really speaking to the part of himself that needed to understand and submit to the Lord the most- his soul. Your human soul is distinct and separate from the spirit of God that dwells in you. No one really understands how the soul, the spirit and the mind work together, except for the One who fashioned them. However, the writers who penned the Psalms understood at least this much: You are in command and in control of your soul. You can speak to your soul and sometimes you need to!
“Bless the Lord, o my soul” is not a poetic statement written in a moment of adulation. It is a command to the soul to fall in line and worship. In fact, you already have experienced this: You don’t always feel like worshipping. Sometimes worshipping the Lord, putting yourself out there, lifting up your hands, singing – those are sometimes the last things you want to do when life gets hard. But that’s what makes worship the most beautiful, and the greatest sacrifice! “Bless the Lord, o my soul” is you, commanding yourself, taking authority and forcing yourself to obey and submit to the Lord in worship. With “all that is within me” – no excuses. The Psalmist knew himself just like you know yourself- your weaknesses, your struggles, your secrets, your habits, your humanity.
“Bless the Lord, o my soul” is you, commanding yourself, taking authority and forcing yourself to obey and submit to the Lord in worship.
There are realistically going to be times when you do. not. want. to. But it isn’t an acceptable excuse. God made a way for those times. It is called sacrifice. “Bless His holy name.” That word “bless” is the Hebrew word barak. It means to kneel down before a king, to acknowledge the king’s authority and to humble yourself within it. “Barak the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me, barak His holy name!” The end of Psalm 103 reiterates the words at the beginning, “Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!” There is literally no where on the earth that anyone is exempt from the command to the soul to barak-praise the Lord! Feelings-schmeelings- require of your soul to bless the Lord.
Thought for today
Do you know who the very first person was to barak the Lord? It was Job. On the day his family was wiped out, the Bible says in Job 1 that he fell down and blessed the Lord. In fact, while there he said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, barak be the name of the Lord.” Talk about a time in your life when you least feel like worshipping…! No excuses. Job gave himself no excuses. God was still God, and Job knew that. God was still holy, worthy and good. Job’s terrible circumstances didn’t change that. The writer of Psalm 103 didn’t give himself any excuses either. You will bless the Lord, SOUL! All that I posses in me will bless His holy name! No caveats. No rain checks. No half-hearted, watered down, limp, whiny worship.