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PSALM 103 - To Bless 13 Feb 2020

The verb "to bless" has a complicated usage. Sometime we receive a blessing. At other times we pray for God's blessing. Here in the psalm it is my turn to "Bless God." What does it mean to bless God?


Language, and especially Latin, is not my top expertise. The Latin word for blessing is "benedicere", meaning to speak well. When I speak well about God, I increase my own faith in God. I express what I believe and trust. Of course, I can or could be wrong. I am however sure that speaking well about something go(o)d, is already a blessing.

Psalm 103

1 [Of David]
Bless Yahweh, my soul,
from the depths of my being, his holy name;
2 bless Yahweh, my soul,
never forget all his acts of kindness.
3 He forgives all your offences,
cures all your diseases, 4 he redeems your life from the abyss,
crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
5 he contents you with good things all your life,
renews your youth like an eagle's.
6 Yahweh acts with uprightness,
with justice to all who are oppressed;
7 he revealed to Moses his ways,
his great deeds to the children of Israel.
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity,
slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
9 his indignation does not last for ever,
nor his resentment remain for all time;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve,
nor repay us as befits our offenses.
11 As the height of heaven above earth,
so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.
12 As the distance of east from west,
so far from us does he put our faults.
13 As tenderly as a father treats his children,
so Yahweh treats those who fear him;
14 he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for a human person -- his days are like grass,
he blooms like the wild flowers;
16 as soon as the wind blows he is gone,
never to be seen there again.
17 But Yahweh's faithful love for those who fear him
is from eternity and for ever;
and his saving justice to their children's children;
18 as long as they keep his covenant,
and carefully obey his precepts.
19 Yahweh has fixed his throne in heaven,
his sovereign power rules over all.
20 Bless Yahweh, all his angels,
mighty warriors who fulfil his commands,
attentive to the sound of his words.
21 Bless Yahweh, all his armies,
servants who fulfil his wishes.
22 Bless Yahweh, all his works,
in every place where he rules.
Bless Yahweh, my soul.

Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

speaking well

It is not hard to bless.

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