Praise His Holy Name

Ps 103:1-4

Bless the LORD, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

3 Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

4 Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, NKJV

The word "bless," as applied to God, means to praise, implying always a strong affection for him as well as a sense of gratitude. (from Barnes' Notes,)

The word used here and translated bless is a euphemism. A figure of speech wich has an understood meaning only loosely connected with the meaning of the word. The word here is the same word we saw last week in Psalm 95 and was there translated kneel. Since kneeling before the one who would bestow the blessing was the fashion of the day the word took on the meaning to bless. But in a real since we can hardly be said to bless God since He needs nothing we have and cannot be increased by our attention to Him. Therefore some translations have translated this word praise. Praise might be an adequate translation but it does not give us the full since of the word.

This psalm is a psalm of blessing not so much for God but for us. These verse have been a source of constant support for millions of saints down through the ages. You see worship not only does something toward God, it does something for us. There is a spiritual connection made that gives us strength and support.

If we think that our spiritual life is disconnected from the life we live we are mistaken. Those who have a good relationship with God will have a much better life. Even if they face difficult times they will be better off than those who do not go through the same. God will be there with them and for them, their attitude will improve and they will be able to rejoice even when others in better circumstances will only complain.

So let us take a look at this psalm as we worship the Lord today.

  1. Bless the LORD,
    1. We can bless God by:
      1. Speaking well of Him
      2. By seeking His good, or as the prayer says His Kingdom
      3. By telling others of His wondrous characteristics.
      4. By praising Him in worship
    2. O my soul;
      1. We notice here that David is not attempting to stir up others to worship but himself.
      2. How often we come to church, and have not prepared ourselves for it.
      3. In the songs that are sung and the prayers and the rest we often do not get stirred up to bless God.
      4. The responsibility falls on us, not on others.
      5. The leaders in the church can only lead those who have come to worship.
      6. Worship is from the heart and not amount of artificial stimulation can stir the person not interested in worship.
    3. And all that is within me,
      1. Then notice that the Psalmist calls on all that he has in this effort to worship.
      2. True worship is spiritual and those that really worship God must worship Him in spirit an in truth, Jesus said.
      3. But we are more than spirit.
        1. Have you ever heard someone say, "my heart was just not in it" what does that mean?
        2. Doesn't it mean that they just were not giving it their all or all that they had.
        3. The psalmist says here that when we worship we must give God all we have, all that is within us.
      4. Therefore we worship with our voices, we worship with our hands, some people sit like a bump on a log because they think that God wants us to worship only with our minds.
      5. You need to look back at David as He was so excited about God in his worship of him that he danced before the Lord.
        1. Now his wife criticized him for it and was barren the rest of her life.
        2. I was at a church recently where they were trying to introduce the congregation to some new songs.
        3. Bad idea because we know that everything new is bad, except cars, houses, microwave ovens, cappuccino machines, bread makers, etc.
        4. It seems strange to me that the church is the only organization stuck in the 50's.
        5. But anyway, I like to watch people, I was singing but I wanted to see what those my age and order were doing. Quite a number were doing nothing. And most of all they were not worshiping.
      6. We need to be fully engaged in the worship of our God.
    4. Bless His holy name!
      1. We find out in the next verse that the name is Jehovah.
        1. When you see LORD in the text the name is Jehovah.
        2. That is the only incommunicable name for God in the Bible.
        3. It is never applied to any other.
      2. His name is holy.
        1. Above everything else about God He is holy.
        2. His righteousness governs everything else He is and does.
        3. It is God supreme requirement for you and me.
        4. Without holiness no one will ever see God. Heb 12:14. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
        5. That is why we are so dependent upon Him for we will never be holy without the blood of Jesus Christ to cover our sins.
  2. Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    1. Once again here he repeats the opening line for emphasis
    2. He will close the psalm with the same words v-22
  3. And forget not all His benefits:
    1. Now he comes to just a few of the reasons why we bless the Lord.
    2. Who forgives all your iniquities,
      1. Only God can forgive and if He does not, there is nothing we can do.
      2. But he is gracious and merciful.
      3. He provides for our forgiveness in the person of His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross to provide a sacrifice for our sins.
    3. Who heals all your diseases,
      1. God heals us
        1. The body is a marvelous creation with the ability to heal itself and ward off infections.
        2. And many cases God intervenes on our behalf and brings healing when the doctors had given up hope.
        3. But God often allows His people to suffer because He has a greater purpose than physical healing.
        4. A famous faith healer was once asked about people that he had healed who still died, to which he replied, "They died healed."
        5. It is a cruel lie to tell people that if they are not healed it is because they are lacking something.
      2. But the greatest healing is when we will be made like Him.
      3. Whatever disease will claim this body, when I come out on the other side there will be not a trace of it.
      4. All disease and they fears and weakness that we know now will have not place there for He will heal all of our diseases.
      5. It is hard for us to realize that God is more concerned for our souls than for our bodies, for He has a new body for us but our souls will remain the same for eternity.
    4. Who redeems your life from destruction,
      1. Every once in a while some will ask if I believe in guardian angels to which I reply in the affirmative.
      2. God sends His messengers to protect us in this life simply because we belong to Him.
      3. David had been in some hard places and He had seen God's providential care.
    5. Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
      1. I will never understand what it is about man that God and chosen to bless us and to share His nature with us.
      2. To share His kingdom with us, but He has.


 This message was preached at FBC Toulon,

by Albert Harmon. See it at  




Bless the Lord Oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Can you do that today. Can you honestly say that today as we have worshiped that you have done what the psalmist was doing?

If not what is your relationship with the Lord. Maybe you need to reexamine that. And if you are a Christian but your worship has bee lacking lately then you need to stir yourself up to bless the Lord with all that you have within you. Bless His Holy Name

Ps 103:1-5

There is nothing the soul of man is so prone to forget as to render thanks that are due, and more especially thanks that are due to God. It therefore needs to be expressly aroused in order that it may not leave the blessing with which God blesses it unacknowledged, and may not forget all His acts performed. (from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

And all that is within me. "All my whole nature -- intellect, emotion, feeling, sentiment -- brain, heart, lungs, tongue," etc. Bless his holy Name; i.e. his manifested Personality, which is almost the same thing as himself. Pulpit Commentary

A pattern of praise.

This psalm is all praise; there is no supplication in it. It has helped myriads to praise God, and the secret of such help is that the psalmist was himself filled with the spirit of praise, and it is the blessed contagion of that spirit that helps us today as in the days of old. And it is a pattern of all true praise. It is so in these ways.


1. It is praise of the Lord. All is addressed to him, and is for him.

2. And in his holiness. "Bless his holy Name." What a happy fact this reveals as to the psalmist and all who sincerely adopt his words! We can bless God for his beneficence and mercy and goodness, but only a holy soul can bless him for his holiness. Such soul delights not merely in the kind acts of God, but in the pure and perfect character of God.

II. ITS METHODS. It shows us how we should praise the Lord.

1. Personally. "Bless the Lord, O my soul!" It is not a work to be handed

over to any choir or any people whatsoever. It is to be our own personal


2. Spiritual. It is to be the soul's work. Poetic speech, eloquent phrase,

beautiful music, skilled song, -- all count for nothing if the soul be not in

the work.

3. Whole hearted. "All that is within me." Intellect, memory, imagination,

affection, will, all the energies of our spiritual nature, should be engaged.

4. With set purpose. See how he calls on himself, stirs himself up to this

holy work, repeats his exhortation and protests against that one chief cause

-- forgetfulness -- of our failure to render praise. "Forget not any of his

benefits." This is how we should praise the Lord.

III. ITS REASON. He tells wherefore we should bless the Lord.

1. For forgiveness. This our first necessity; all else avails not without that

(cf. <410205>Mark 2:5).

2. For the healing of the soul. It would be but a poor salvation if soul

healing did not follow forgiveness, for without the latter we should soon be

back to our sins again (<610222>2 Peter 2:22). Therefore we need this healing of

the soul. And it is promised (see <263625>Ezekiel 36:25).

3. For penalty in this life averted. He "redeemeth thy life from

destruction." God does not redeem our life from all the consequences of

our sin (<199908>Psalm 99:8), but from the worst he does. The forgiven man

may have to suffer much in consequence of his past sins, but it is as nothing

compared with what he would have had to suffer had he not been forgiven.

The comfort of God's Spirit, power to witness for Christ, victory over sin,

hope bright hope of life eternal, -- all these are his; his life is redeemed

from destruction.

4. For, next, God crowneth with loving kindness. See all this illustrated in

the story of the prodigal son -- forgiven, healed, redeemed, crowned, the

ring, the robe, the shoes, the feast, were for him; and what answers to them

yet is the crowning told of here.

5. For satisfaction with good. This also awaits us: would we but trust God

more, we should know it for ourselves. They who walk with God, abide in

Christ, know what it is. Let us not rest until we know it for ourselves.

6. For youth of soul renewed. (See homily on this subject.) The outward

man may, will, decay, but the inward man shall be renewed day by day.

IV. ITS RESULTS. What a history it would be if we could only trace out

what this psalm has done for God's saints in all ages! What spiritual

victories it has won! what strength it has imparted! what holy joy!

Christian, sing this psalm more heartily, so that many poor lost ones,

hearing its sweet evangel, may turn and with you bless the Lord. -- S.C.

Pulpit Commentary

His own soul is the first audience a good man ought to think of preaching to. Before we address

ourselves to others we should lecture within the doors of our own heart. Indeed, if any man desires to excite the hearts of others in any given direction, he must first stir up himself upon the same matter. He who would make others grateful must begin by saying, "Bless the Lord, O my

soul." Spurgeon

When we

have given our best we are compelled to confess, "Of thine own have we

given unto thee." But we bless him by being thankful, by extolling him for

the gifts he has bestowed, by loving him in consequence of his bounty

towards us, and by allowing these emotions of our mind to influence our

life, so that we speak well of his name, and act so as to glorify him among

our fellow men. In these ways we can bless God, and we know that he

accepts such attempts, poor and feeble though they be. God is pleased with

our love and thankfulness; and so, speaking after the manner of men, he is

blessed by his children's desires and praises. Spurgeon

Note that the Psalmist stirred himself up to bless God's name, by which is

meant his character; though indeed we may take the word literally, for

every name of God is a reason for thankfulness. We will praise Jehovah,

the self-existent: we wilt praise El, the mighty God whose power is on our

side, we will praise him who gives himself the covenant name of Elohim,

and reveals therein the Trinity of his sacred unity; we will praise the

Shaddai, the all-sufficient God, and magnify him, because out of his

fullness have we all received. And whatever other name there be in

Scripture, or combination of names, every one shall be exceeding delightful

to our hearts, and we will bless the sacred name. We will bless the Father,

from whose everlasting love we received our election unto eternal life; the

Father, who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection

of his Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead. We bless the Father of our spirits,

who hath given to us an inheritance amongst all them that are set apart.

And we bless the Son of God, Jesus our Savior, Christ, -- anointed to

redeem. Our heart dances for joy at every remembrance of him. There is

not a name of Jesus Christ's person, or offices, or relationships, which we

would forget to bless. Whether he be Immanuel, Jesus, or the Word;

whether he be Prophet, Priest or King; whether he be brother, husband or

friend; whatever name beseems his beloved person is dear to us, and we

will bless him under it. And the Holy Ghost too, -- our Comforter, the

Paraclete, the heavenly Dove, who dwells within our hearts in infinite

condescension, whom heaven cannot contain, but yet who finds a

habitation within the bodies of his servants, which are his temples -- we

will assuredly praise him. Each one of his influences shall evoke from us

grateful praise, -- if he be like the wind -- we will be as Aeolian harps; if

he be dew -- we will bloom with flowers; if he be flame -- we will glow

with ardor; if he be oil -- our faces shall shine. In whatever way he moves

upon us we will be responsive to his voice; and while he blesses us we will

bless his holy name. Spurgeon

When we bless God, the sacred exercise should be intense. "All that is

within me, bless his holy name." We ought not to worship God in a half-

hearted sort of way; as if it were now our duty to bless God, but we felt it

to be a weary business, and we would get it through as quickly as we

could, and have done with it; and the sooner the better. No, no; "All that is

within me, bless his holy name." Come, my heart, wake up, and summon all

the powers which wait upon thee! Mechanical worship is easy, but

worthless. Come, rouse yourself, my brother! Rouse thyself, O my own

soul! "All that is within me, bless his holy name." Spurgeon


But the text says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me,

bless his holy name." What is meant by blessing his name? The name of

God is that by which he reveals himself, so that the God we have to

worship is the Jehovah of revelation. Spurgeon

God has revealed himself in divers ways and manners through his prophets

and apostles, and as such let us bless him to-night. We rejoice in him who,

in the person of the Lord Jesus, and in the Scriptures of truth, has

graciously unveiled his face. "Bless his holy name." Spurgeon

Cheerful praise

David is here communing with his own heart, and he is no fool that thus talks to himself and excites his own soul to that which is good. Observe,

I. How he stirs up himself to the duty of praise, v. 1, 2.

1. It is the Lord that is to be blessed and spoken well of; for he is the fountain of all good, whatever are the channels or cisterns; it is to his name, his holy name, that we are to consecrate our praise, giving thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

2. It is the soul that is to be employed in blessing God, and all that is within us. We make nothing of our religious performances if we do not make heart-work of them, if that which is within us, nay, if all that is within us, be not engaged in them. The work requires the inward man, the whole man, and all little enough.

3. In order to our return of praises to God, there must be a grateful remembrance of the mercies we have received from him: Forget not all his benefits. If we do not give thanks for them, we do forget them; and that is unjust as well as unkind, since in all God's favours there is so much that is memorable. "O my soul! to thy shame be it spoken, thou hast forgotten many of his benefits; but surely thou wilt not forget them all, for thou shouldst not have forgotten any."

II. How he furnishes himself with abundant matter for praise, and that which is very affecting: "Come, my soul, consider what God has done for thee."

1. "He has pardoned thy sins (v. 3); he has forgiven, and does forgive, all thy iniquities." This is mentioned first because by the pardon of sin that is taken away which kept good things from us, and we are restored to the favour of God, which bestows good things on us. Think what the provocation was; it was iniquity, and yet pardoned; how many the provocations were, and yet all pardoned. He has forgiven all our trespasses. It is a continued act; he is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting.

2. "He has cured thy sickness." The corruption of nature is the sickness of the soul; it is its disorder, and threatens its death. This is cured in sanctification; when sin is mortified, the disease is healed; though complicated, it is all healed. Our crimes were capital, but God saves our lives by pardoning them; our diseases were mortal, but God saves our lives by healing them. These two go together; for, as for God, his work is perfect and not done by halves; if God take away the guilt of sin by pardoning mercy, he will break the power of it by renewing grace. Where Christ is made righteousness to any soul he is made sanctification, 1 Cor 1:30.

3. "He has rescued thee from danger." A man may be in peril of life, not only by his crimes, or his diseases, but by the power of his enemies; and therefore here also we experience the divine goodness: Who redeemed thy life from destruction (v. 4), from the destroyer, from hell (so the Chaldee), from the second death. The redemption of the soul is precious; we cannot compass it, and therefore are the more indebted to divine grace that has wrought it out, to him who has obtained eternal redemption for us. See Job 33:24,28.

4. "He has not only saved thee from death and ruin, but has made thee truly and completely happy, with honour, pleasure, and long life."

(1.) "He has given thee true honour and great honour, no less than a crown: He crowns thee with his lovingkindness and tender mercies;" and what greater dignity is a poor soul capable of than to be advanced into the love and favour of God? This honour have all his saints. What is the crown of glory but God's favour?

(2.) "He has given thee true pleasure: He satisfies thy mouth with good things" (v. 5); it is only the favour and grace of God that can give satisfaction to a soul, can suit its capacities, supply its needs, and answer to its desires. Nothing but divine wisdom can undertake to fill its treasures (Prov 8:21); other things will surfeit, but not satiate, Eccl 6:7; Isa 55:2.

(3.) "He has given thee a prospect and pledge of long life: Thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." The eagle is long-lived, and, as naturalists say, when she is nearly 100 years old, casts all her feathers (as indeed she changes them in a great measure every year at moulting time), and fresh ones come, so that she becomes young again. When God, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from their decays, and fills them with new life and joy, which is to them an earnest of eternal life and joy, then they may be said to return to the days of their youth, Job 33:25.

(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)