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Universal Praise

Bless the Lord, O my soul" (v. 1). The psalmist opens by addressing God on a personal level. He is praising God for what He does and for who He is. As we read this psalm, we discover why God is so wonderful.

He is the merciful Savior (vv. 8-12). God in His grace gives us what we don't deserve and in His mercy doesn't give us what we do deserve. But He does have a holy temper, and we must not provoke Him by deliberately sinning.

He is the tender Father (vv. 13-18). Why does God show mercy? Because it is His nature to exercise compassion and love. He is tender because He knows we are made of dust. We are frail. We're temporary, like a flower that soon fades and dies. Our response to God's tenderness should be praise and obedience.

He deserves universal praise (vv. 19-22). We see in the Book of Revelation that praise for God increases and spreads over all the universe. We will be part of that someday.

Why do we praise Him? Because His throne is secure. We praise Him because we can keep His commandments, serve Him and please Him. We praise Him because His works are so wonderful, and He's allowed us to be part of them.

The psalm ends the way it begins--on a personal level. "Bless the Lord, O my soul." Follow the psalmist's lead and praise God for His wonderful attributes and deeds.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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