>The idea of blessing the Lord has always seemed a bit foreign to me. How can we, as mere human creatures, bless the almighty God who is the divine creator?
The strangeness of the concept comes, I think, from a skewed view. For most of my life, I’ve considered “blessing” as a thing that God gives or as the way he gives it. Every day I am blessed by God as I receive blessings from him, including innumerable gifts of which I am not even aware. But that’s only part of the biblical concept of blessing. Scripture makes clear that “blessing” also can be loving and praising God.
Psalm 103 is the world’s best primer on the concept of blessing the Lord.
Editors Leland Ryken and Philip Graham Ryken preface Psalm 103 in the ESV Literary Study Bible (© 2007 by Crossway Bibles) by writing that it is a “high point among the praise psalms” and add: “It is so exalted in scope and language that it ranks as an ode—the most elevated member of the lyric family.”
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
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 (2-5, ESV).
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever (6-9, ESV).
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust (10-14, ESV).
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all (15-19, ESV).
Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul! (20-22, ESV).