Daily Devotional

Bless the Lord, O My Soul!

I am here at the Hilton Hotel Double Tree Inn lobby, downtown.  It is a Monday morning, the last in May.  I have the privilege of getting away to anywhere I want on Monday mornings, to spend a little longer time than normal with the Lord.  It is a half Sabbath morning for me.  Usually it is outdoors somewhere, in the foothills, or by one of the rivers.  But today it is here.  I can still be alone in the midst of the activity.

As I look around me, there are two TVs playing in the bar area.  Sometimes it is a distraction to me.  It seems today that two announcers are having animated, protracted arguments about what must be the NBA playoffs. I think, what a loss!  In the end, it is close to useless.  It will all certainly go up in flames in the last days.  In the eternal record, no one will care even who played, let alone who won or lost!  There is a little girl here in the lobby, running around.  Her future is more critical than all that playoff mess!
But even here in this hotel, life is at a low ebb.  I was told there was a “Drag Queen” show here this weekend.  This might as well be the modern temple of Baal, or Ashtoreth.  I do not slam this hotel.  Most places of this nature are similar.
But here we enter the word of God!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.  Psalm 103:1

Here is the exhortation of the truth – Bless the Lord, O my soul!  This is wise instruction for every human being.  Such a choice by a man (or woman) puts him in the very arena of life, and light and truth!

This might be the key to it all – that my soul might bless the Lord!  If I am not in that place, I am in trouble.  But if I am in that place, I am in the center of where I need to be, no matter where I am, or what is going on around me.

BLESS the Lord, O my soul!

But this expression is not yet enough per the text!  It needs to be more consuming – let ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME bless His holy name.  This seems to be the starting place for all else.  Anything less than this leaves us compromised, that is, still partly into self, into the word or into the flesh.  It might be said that in that place I am still somewhat into my own name, instead of His holy name!
Let all that is within BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!

I might even be into some other name, some human I revere, some group or world which captures my heart and attention, and drives me.  What is it about His name?  What’s in a name?  A name of someone unknown to us will likely mean nothing.  It is not connected with anyone, or anything.  Other names might be negative – infamous criminals, people we don’t like who have harmed us or disrespected us.  But others we revere.  Perhaps they have done something wonderful in our eyes.  Maybe they are happy family, or friends or neighbors.  Maybe they have given much to us, or always treat us with love and respect.  Then there is…HIS HOLY NAME.

I think it must mean that His name, YAHWEH, Jesus, Jeshua, Jehovah, is the epitome of ALL that is strong, good, wonderful, beautiful, powerful, loving, kind and just.  He is the pinnacle of everything that is good, and the very antithesis of everything that is evil.  His name would represent the extreme top, the zenith, a place lofty, lifted up and higher in the extreme to whatever might be considered second place.  And this in every revered category!!

So our beings are to urge ourselves to bless Him, honor and glorify Him, with ALL that is within us.  No reservations.  No exempted categories.  We are not to leave some realms – money, sex, cars, houses, hobbies, etc. – to keep as a competing side good, apart from Him!

As I peruse this hotel, with its lights and rooms, with the TVs declaring their message, the counter and people at it, the fountain, the skylights, the bar, people moving around, it comes across as the counter-name to His holy name.  That is, everything in this hotel seems to say, let all that is within you bless humans, bless their exploits and their glory, bless structures made, bless the plants and colors and light – let humans and things be the epitome; let all that is within us bless the holy place of the created things, the central place, the place of worship, though we would not call it worship.

There is no hint of anything spiritual here (except with me) – no Bible, or prayer, no church, no spiritual discussion or communication, no worship, no religious commands, no church advertisements, no invitations to the truth, no emotional diatribes about spiritual issues – nothing.

The urging of David in this Psalm is that his own inner being might bless the Lord!  It is not something that is going to happen externally.  We are to ascribe the right kind of explanation about the life we see around us, we are to BLESS THE LORD as we see it all; give credit to Him for anything and everything which seems to be worthy of honor, or value, worthy of applause or even veneration.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Creation is nothing in itself – the honor is due to the Creator.  Without Him, it is just STUFF.  Physical things put together into something.

Man is nothing in himself – because he did not make himself.  He can’t even keep himself alive.  He cannot control the weather.  He cannot even explain His world with any depth.  He does not know in himself why he is here.  Or why he must leave.  O where he will be going.  He knows nothing.  He was simply thrown into a world and woke up there.  He is subject to the very world he lives in.

Bless the Lord, O my soul

All that is within him must revere the origin of his race, his being.  He must discover a larger purpose than simply existing, to simply die.
Let all that is within me, BLESS HIS HOLY NAME

It is God, and His Christ, Jesus His Son whom we must revere, must bless, must worship!!!