What does it mean to bless the Lord?

Is it even blasphemous to think we can do it? Surely that’s something He does to us?

Well, the Bible does use the language of blessing to speak of what we do to us – even if some of the translations obscure this sometimes (e.g. NIV Psalm 134v2 – same verb here and in v3 but NIV uses ‘praise’ in v 2 and ‘bless’ in v3 cf. ESV).

Here’s a helpful excerpt from Journey (see previous post), 146-7:

What, then, does the expression ‘’May the Lord bless you’ (verse 3) mean? It is a request for the Lord to look on us, discern our needs and meet them, that is to say to review us and to respond. Likewise, when we bless the Lord, we – say it reverently – review him and respond. He reviews our needs; we review his revealed excellencies. ‘To bless God’, says F. D. Kidner, ‘is to acknowledge gratefully what he is’. Blessing us, he would make us, by his sufficiency, what we are not; in blessing him, we bow low and acknowledge and revere what he is. To bless the Lord, therefore, is to call to mind the glorious things that he has revealed about himself, as well as the glorious things he has done, and to bring ourselves low, to kneel, in worship and adoration. This is the climax of pilgrimage.”

Amen. Go, ye, and do likewise!

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