Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

He has shown his people the power of his works 
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
- Psalm 111:6
The opening verses of the book of Psalms reads: “Blessed is the man… [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night,” (1:1a, 2). Recently my small group went through JD Greear’s “Gospel Revolution” study. This is one of the key points Greear brings up throughout the study. Our obedience should not be primarily out of obligation (though we are obligated), but a result of desire, or as the Psalmist says, “delight.”

Why? God, our rock and redeemer, is sovereign and provides for our every need. He is infinitely great, and infinitely worthy of our praise. While our hearts are not “steadfast toward him” and we are “unfaithful to him,” “he, being compassionate, atoned for our iniquities,” (78:37-38). Regardless of witnessing his wonders and miracles, we still often lack genuine faith that works itself out as James describes in his epistle.

We are still sinners. But as the Psalmist tells us, that is not the end of the story. God, “being compassionate… restrains his anger” toward us. He blesses us with a world that “proclaims his handiwork,” (103:25). Both the believer and unbeliever witness this. For the believer “he does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities,” (103:10). But, for the unbeliever, the news isn’t so great.

The readings for this week are a myriad of praises to an infinitely wonderful God. “Bless the LORD, O my soul!” O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent,” (104:1-2). They bring my soul delight. They are refreshing during a period of my life that is stressful. They glorify a magnificent God who will not see believers to ruin, but will raise us up for his glory, not our own. Whether it is during my life on earth or after I leave this vessel, God will see me through. He will see you through. “Bless the LORD, O our souls!”

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