I. DAVID'S COMMAND TO HIMSELF. "BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL, AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME, BLESS HIS HOLY NAME"
A. Why the command was necessary.
1. "Forget not all His benefits." We oft times are forgetful to give thanks to God.
2. We have a tendency to take God's blessings for granted.
3. We sometimes attribute the blessings of God to other causes.
a. Abraham Lincoln said, We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us. Our supreme folly was that we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
b. In one of the new public school textbooks, it tells the children that the first Thanksgiving was to give the Indians thanks for helping them survive.
B. David was giving thanks to God for the personal blessings.
1. He had forgiven all his iniquities.
2. He had healed him from all his diseases.
3. He had redeemed his life from destruction.
4. He had crowned him with loving kindness and tender mercies.
5. He had satisfied his mouth with good things. (Remember that tomorrow as you are putting down that turkey and pumpkin pie.)
6. He had renewed his strength as an eagle.
C. He was thankful for the general character of God.
1. He executes righteous judgment for those who are oppressed.
2. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.
3. How plenteous?
a. He will not always chide us.
b. He has not dealt with us according to our sins. (That is something to be truly thankful for.)
c. Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Justice would demand death for our sins, in mercy He was forgiven our sins.
4. How great is His mercy?
a. As high as the heaven is above the earth.
b. How high is that?
c. 15 billion light years? Maybe, maybe more, that is all the farther they have been able to probe thus far. Maybe the universe is infinite. Maybe what we call our universe is like a small galaxy in a far vaster universe.
d. I think, however, that 15 billion light years should be sufficient.
5. How enduring is His mercy? Verse 17.
a. From everlasting to everlasting.
b. The Hebrew word for everlasting is olawn it literally is the vanishing point.
c. Let your mind go back as far as you can think until you sort of reach a vanishing point. You can't think of anything further back, sort of a vanishing point.
6. How far has He put away your transgressions?
a. As far as the East is from the West.
b. I am glad He didn't say, as far as the North is from the South.
7. Why is He so merciful toward us?
a. He knows our frame, He knows we were made of dust. He knows how fragile we really are.
b. Sometimes we think that we came from the planet Krypton that we are some kind of super saints, that we can leap over tall buildings in a single bound.
c. We are often very disappointed with ourselves, He never is. We thought that we were stronger than we really are, He knew all along that we were just inflated dust.
d. Remove all of the space between the atoms in your body and we would need a microscope to see you. Unfortunately that microscopic speck of dust would weigh the same as you weigh today.
II. DAVID NOW COMMANDS OTHERS TO BLESS THE LORD.
A. First His angels, David describes them as:
1. Excelling in strength.
2. That is, they excel us.
3. They do His commandments.
4. They listen to the voice of His words.
B. All of his hosts. This would bring us in with the angels, the angels are referred to as a heavenly host. The people of God are referred to as His host.
C. His ministers who do His pleasure.
D. All of His works in all places of His dominion.
Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.