The word “bless” is the Hebrew word ‘bawrak’, which literally means “to kneel.” Strong’s Concordance states that this word implies that we “bless God” as an “act of adoration.” We do NOT have to literally kneel down to bless the Lord, though we surely can to show reverence. The primary thought is that in “blessing the Lord” we are “praising Him and thanking Him for all that He is and for all that He has done for us.”

In Psalm 103 we find the expression “bless the Lord” six times! Let’s read verses 1-2, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” These words set the tone for this wonderful Psalm where King David’s heart was overflowing with praise to the Lord. Again, to “bless the Lord” is to “praise Him.” Some translations actually substitute the word “bless” with the word “praise.” David begins and ends this Psalm with those precious words “Bless the LORD, O my soul.” Throughout the Psalm he calls upon others to bless the Lord too, but he begins by calling upon his own soul to bless the One who is worthy to be praised. David wanted every part of his being, with all its senses and faculties, to praise the Lord as an expression of adoration and gratitude. As I stated earlier, to “bless the Lord” is to praise Him FOR ALL THAT HE IS and FOR ALL THAT HE HAS DONE FOR US. In keeping with this truth David says, “bless His holy name” and “Bless the LORDand forget not all His benefits.” To “bless His holy name” is to praise Him for WHO HE IS. David speaks of His holiness and righteousness in this Psalm, as well as His lovingkindness, mercy and grace, and every thought of WHO HE IS compels him to “bless the Lord.” He also reminds us of GOD’S BLESSINGS TO US. In verse 3 He “forgiveth all thine iniquities” and “healeth all thy diseases.” In verse 4 He “redeemeth thy life from destruction” and in verse 5 He “satisfieth thy mouth with good things.” As David mused on these things he couldn’t hold back; his soul was compelled to “bless the Lord!”

Of course David was a true believer in God as His Savior and it goes without saying that we too must be a believer in Christ as our Savior before we can truly “bless the Lord.” We must indeed know WHO HE IS and WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US in order to praise Him. There were many in Israel who went through the motions of “blessing the Lord” but their heart wasn’t in it. We read of these in Isaiah 29:13, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.” Their worship and praise was a sham! Why? Because they were simply repeating words of praise that men taught them to say instead of praising God from their hearts. Many today are guilty of the same thing, for they attend “worship services” where hymns are sung and prayers are said in a mechanical way. They have been taught to “bless the Lord” by men, but not by the One who can truly fill their hearts with praise as they learn of WHO THE LORD IS and of WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US. (186.8)  (DO)