"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."
Many people claim Psalm 103 as one of their favorite passages in the Bible. In these 22 verses, David focuses on God's goodness. He itemizes God's benefits and tells his soul not to forget them. The list of benefits includes the forgiveness of sins, the healing of diseases, and the redemption from death. We receive satisfaction, righteousness and justice because of God's grace and love for us. If you have ever studied Psalm 103, surely you saw all these things. However, here is a liberating lesson you may not know.
David is not talking to God in this psalm. David is talking about God. He is talking to his soul. He is telling his soul to do what his mouth is powerless to do.
When David says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul" he is saying "O my soul, bless the Lord." He is calling on his soul, his inward being to bless the Lord because blessing God with his mouth is weak and insufficient. Lip service can't measure up to how the psalmist wants to praise God. The psalmist says he wants to thank God with every fiber of his being. He wants to thank God from the inside, from deep within.
Sometimes saying, "Hallelujah" is not enough. Sometimes saying "Praise the Lord" falls short of how you want to express thanks and gratitude for all that God has done. Sometimes you need to speak directly to your soul and say, "O my soul, bless the Lord."
When magnifying the Lord with your mouth doesn't measure up, bless the Lord with your soul instead during this Lenten season.
Read the Lenten lesson for Day 33.