Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.
As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word.
Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will.
Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
This Psalm hardly needs much of a description – its a stunning and amazing song that has brought hope and comfort and blessing to countless over the centuries. I love how this Psalm focuses on us blessing God and not on the blessings that God brings to people. Bless the Lord o my soul and all that is within me bless God’s holy name. Say that a few times every day and you will go a long way to having a heart and mind in the right place. I googled some other reflections upon this Psalm this morning and came across reflections from this site which gives the Hebrew of the first part of verse 1 – Barakhi Nafshi et Adonai – there’s something beautifully poetic about even how those words sound. It then has the following quote from Talmud Berachot 35A –
If you enjoy something in the world without saying a blessing, it is as if you stole it.
Living in a posture and an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude – it makes a huge difference. I have gone through several periods in my life where I have intentionally kept a gratitude journal – just recording thanksgivings and blessings throughout the day or at the end of the day. We have begun this as a family in the evenings at dinner and the book in the picture is our gratitude journal that lives on our dining room table. It helps me and it helps us to look not at what is wrong in the world, but to intentionally look for what is right and good and beautiful and of God.
Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.