‘Praise the Lord!’ begins this morning’s reading, or ‘Bless the Lord’ in another version of the bible, and it continues in a great song, describing how great God is.
But back up a minute, why praise the Lord? And why is it described as ‘blessing’ the Lord?
‘Blessing’ someone is not a concept we are very familiar with. We can cope with the idea of God blessing us, but we don’t naturally think that we can ‘bless’ other people, let alone God.
In the bible, we often see a ‘blessing’ passed from a father to a son at the end of his life (remember Isaac with Jacob and Esau). The father speaks out the benefits he is passing on to his son, and it is so. We still do something similar with a will. Bear in mind that as well as being a legal document, what we ‘will’ is what we ‘wish to happen’.
We know we can be a blessing to other people when we step in, get involved in their lives and meet a need that they have. We can pray a blessing on them by asking God to act on their behalf.
So back to the idea of ‘blessing’ God. I think we forget, and are uncomfortable with, the fact that He created us for his pleasure, and that he longs for us. God takes pleasure in us enjoying his presence, and he enjoys our learning and growing to be more like Him. Without making him sound needy, our praise is something he seeks and appreciates. So when we get excited about how good God is, and remember all of the good things He had done for us, and tell others about them, we are doing something that is serving God.
What would you include in your psalm of praise to God?