"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How Do I Praise Thee God? Let Me Count the Ways

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103:1-2)
Sometimes we also sing, "Praise the Lord, O my soul." What David is doing here is speaking over his own soul. He does it throughout the Psalms. There are times that he doesn't have that feeling inside, knows he should, and so he speaks it over himself. “Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God. Bless the LORD, O my soul.” David wakes up and knows that he should live this day with overflowing joy and thankfulness in worship to God. But that feeling is not in his soul and so he's telling his soul to praise God. “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” He's telling his soul to praise God, makes a transition and speaks over his own life.
Reasons to worship God. Reasons to praise God. Things that God has either done or are attributes of God by which we should bless Him, by which we should praise Him. And David begins to wake up his own soul by gazing into the glory of God and repeating that over himself, as though he were saying, "Soul, why are you not praising Him? Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD, O my soul. All my inmost being, praise His holy name." Then he begins speaking truths, realities of who God is and what God has done over his own soul to wake himself up to the worship of God and all that God is. We are going to walk through these reasons that he gives for worshiping God.
At the beginning, the psalmist, David, is struggling with His own ability to praise God. He wakes up and doesn't feel praise; and so he starts speaking the reasons, the reasons to worship God, over himself. All of these things that God is and that God has done. By the end of it, he can't contain his praise anymore. It's not enough to waken his own soul, so he's looking at rocks and trees and angels and says that everything should wake up. "We've got to explode into worship. We've got to explode into praise." And he closes with these words: ”Praise the LORD, you his angels, you might ones who do His bidding, who obey His word. Praise the LORD, all His heavenly hosts, you His servants who do His will. Praise the LORD, all His works everywhere in His dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.”(Psalm 103:20-22). Psalm 103’s Reasons to Praise God
1. “...who forgives all your sins” (Psalm 103:3a)
2. “…and heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:3b)
3. “Who redeems your life from the pit” (Psalm 103:4a)
4. “…and crowns you with love and compassion” (Psalm 103:4b)
5. “...who satisfies your desires with good things” (Psalm 103:5a)
6. “your youth is renewed like the eagle's” (Psalm 103:5b)
7. “The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 103:6)
8. “He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel” (Psalm 103:7)
9. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8)
10. “He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever” (Psalm 103:9)
11. “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10)
12. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:11)
13. “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12)
14. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:13)
15. “for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14)
16. “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more” (Psalm 103:15-16)
17. “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:17a)
18. “and His righteousness with their children's children--with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.” (Psalm 103:17b)
19. “The LORD has established His throne in heaven and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19)

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