How can we bless God? What does it mean to bless God?

What does it mean that we can bless God? If God is perfect, how can we bless Him? To bless God simply means to praise Him or to honor His name. The Hebrew word translated "bless" in the Old Testament literally means to kneel, indicating the idea of honoring the Lord. We do not add anything to Him when we bless Him, yet we worship Him as our appropriate response to His greatness and His love for us.

In the Psalms, we often find verses that speak of blessing the Lord. For example, Psalm 104:1 reads, "Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty." Psalm 16:7 notes, "I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me."

Psalm 103:1-5 includes the idea of complete worship of the Lord without holding back: "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, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Not surprisingly, such passages serve as the basis for many of today's popular worship songs and hymns. For example, "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman includes "Bless the Lord, O my soul" as the main line of its chorus. The classic chorus "Bless the Lord, O My Soul" builds upon the same idea.

But does God desire for us to "bless" Him? According to Scripture, He certainly does. From the earliest biblical accounts, God called people to honor Him through acts of worship. The Law of Moses instructed people to worship and bless the Lord. The Psalms are filled with commands to bless the Lord: "Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!" (Psalm 134:1-2). Psalm 135:19-20 adds, "O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD! O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!"

Some Psalms use the phrase "bless the Lord" alongside "praise the Lord" indicating that the meaning is similar between the two. For example, Psalm 104:35b reads, "Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!" Psalm 115:18 declares, "But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!"

In the New Testament, Jesus came, instructing His worshipers to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Colossians 3:16 teaches, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Ephesians 5:18b-20 instructs, "… be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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