Verse of the Day Devotion Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
David starts this prayer with ‘Bless the Lord, Oh my soul’. The word here translated bless is the Hebrew word baw-rak which is a primitive root meaning to kneel, and by implication to bless God as an act of adoration. What is implied here is that David went before the Lord God with true humility, kneeling before Him and abundantly blessing and praising His God. It no doubt also implies a mighty sense of gratitude to Him for all God has done for Him.
Most of the time, the call to praise and worship is addressed to a worshipping community, such as a church, or to some other group of people. And to be honest, most worship is done at a church with music and lyrics in the front. And there is nothing wrong with this for when the Church gets together, and by Church I mean the people, we should always kneel or bow before Him giving thanks, worship, and praise which He absolutely deserves. However, as we see in our focus verse, David calls on his own inner being to bless the Lord. This act of worship involves his entire person. Humans bless the Lord by speaking well of him as they complement him publicly. Blessing, or praise, is the natural response to contemplating the Lord’s holy character, which provides an inexhaustible reason for extolling him. The psalmist’s praise of the Lord is intentional, as he focuses on various aspects of his greatness and goodness.
However, how many of us bow before Him alone, where no one can see us and praise and worship Him privately as well? How many of us go to Him alone and give Him the glory and praise due Him. This can give us a wonderful time to praise Him with our own words, our own songs, and our own heart in the way that we feel at that time. This is a beautiful opportunity to use, as theologian Albert Barnes puts it, “all our powers and faculties; all that can be employed in his praise: the heart, the will, the affections, the emotions. The idea is, that God is worthy of all the praise and adoration which the entire man can render. No one of his faculties or powers should be exempt from the duty and the privilege of praise.”
The one value of these opening words is that they show us that worship is not involuntary or automatic. It calls for the coordination of all that we are. We should not restrict our worship to the sanctuary, but we must make everywhere a potential place of worship. We should enter worship and praise with all that we have, dedicated to giving Him all due Him. Then we may render a service of praise that is worthy and acceptable.
In this daily devotion, I want to encourage us all, and I do include myself in this, to take time to get alone with God and offer praise and blessings to Him with all we have and are. And I encourage everyone in these times to not only offer praise to Him but pray to Him as well and then sit quietly and hear what He has to say back to us. There is nothing like a two-way conversation with God. I have experienced it and I never want to miss this time again. This may be difficult at first, but once it becomes natural, I believe you will find this time as important as anything else you do.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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