Psalm 103

Julie Hinz

Read Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul
and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1

It was a late-night rehearsal for Godspell. Eight college students tired and sweating as they danced and sang their way through the final rehearsal of “O Bless the Lord.” Eight kids and a pit orchestra working hard to perfect the joy of these words and rejoicing in God who had given them the gift and joy of the song. 

Psalm 103 begins and with a command — to the writer as well as the reader — “Bless the Lord! Forget not all his benefits!” In the Old Testament we hear about a people who had not just turned away from God but sometimes had forgotten God completely. And yet God provided for them: food, drink, protection, guidance, leadership, freedom. God also provided the promise of a heritage, forgiveness, a Savior, comfort, hope…all those intangibles we often take for granted.

English does not have one word that can encompass all of God’s love or all that God is and does for his people. This is no ordinary love; it runs deeper than any social or familial connection. This love never fluctuates, never changes. What is given by God can never be earned. It is limitless and eternal. Our God is intimately incomprehensible.

And yet — God continues to bless. Continues to give. Continues to provide. Continues to forgive. Continues to remind us that we are God’s beloved children. We are wayward and sinful, yes. But God is not. And it is not just our duty but our joy to bless the Lord!

Never changing God, you are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You raise us up and lead us through this life. May our tongues bless your name as long as we have breath. Amen.

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