BLESSING THE GOD WHO BLESSES US
What goes against our flesh, but we are often exhorted to do in Scripture, is to bless God. We like the idea that He blesses us. Even those who never worship Him on the Sabbath Day in His house will say to each other, "God bless you!" We do, however, have a calling to bless Him; and therefore in Psalm 103:1 we read, "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name."
Now to bless God means something quite different from God blessing us, for God is no creature, and to bless means basically to call well or good. When we bless God we say that He is good. We praise and honor Him. Therefore our versification has it this way:
O praise and bless the Lord, my soul.
His wondrous love proclaim;
Join heart and voice and all my powers
To bless His holy name.
But when God blesses us, He calls that which is good to come upon us. We cannot add anything to God; but we can say that He is good. He calls in the sense of commanding goodness upon us.
Now we are called to speak well of Him with our lips before others: but we must also say this by our deeds, and say it unto God in our prayers. In them we must tell Him "O God, how great and good Thou art!"
Our calling is to bless His holy name, and that means that, even more than we call the judge "Your Honor," we must address God in a reverent way as one high above us and all creation. We must speak to Him as the holy One Who is exalted above all persons. He is our friend and loves us; but with God we cannot get "chummy." He must be worshiped, not brought down to the level of the creature.
This blessing of Him we must do with our whole being. It must begin in our soul, that is, in the innermost recesses of our being; but then by it through our whole being we must reveal love and respect for Him.
Surely then we must bow our heads before Him and must use the most respect-and-honor-expressing words that we can. Call Him your Father, but be sure that you address Him as your heavenly Father. Jesus taught us to begin our prayers with "Hallowed be 'l'hy name."
Psalter versification: 277:1
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 121
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One
Isaiah 33 ; Isaiah 34 ; Isaiah 35 ; Isaiah 36:1-22
Quote for Reflection:
“For inasmuch as it (baptism) is given for the arousing, nourishing, and confirming of our faith, it is to be received as from the hand of the Author himself. We ought to deem it certain and proved that it is he who speaks to us through the sign; that it is he who purifies and washes away sins and wipes out the remembrance of them; that it is he who makes us sharers in his death, who deprives Satan of his rule, who weakens the power of our lust; indeed, that it is he who comes unto a unity with us so that, having put on Christ, we may be acknowledged God’s children.” ~ John Calvin, The Institutes