Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Psalm 103:1

As the Son has glorified the Father and the Father has glorified the Son, so there is a people in whom both the Father and the Son will be glorified. He therefore said, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one" (John 17:22); and again, "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." When, then, God’s goodness and mercy in the face of Jesus Christ are manifested to this people whom he has formed for himself that they might shew forth his praise, then they give him back his glory. But how is this done? By praising and blessing his holy name for the manifestation of his goodness and mercy to their soul.

We thus see in what a blessed circle this glory runs. The Father glorifies the Son; the Son glorifies the Father; both unite in glorifying his chosen and redeemed people; and they glorify Father and Son by giving them the glory due to their name. We therefore read that "the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy." But how? "Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people" (Romans 15:9-11). This is beautifully developed in Psalm 103. It begins with blessing and praising God. "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Why was it that David called upon his soul to bless the Lord—yea, appealed to every faculty within him to unite in blessing his holy name? Why did he charge it upon his soul not to forget all God’s benefits, but bear them in perpetual remembrance? For this reason, that he might render unto God a tribute of thankful praise.

Now by this God is glorified, for whoso offereth praise glorifieth him. We cannot add to his glory; for his glory is above the heavens. It is infinite, eternal, ineffable. No creature therefore can add to it or take from it; but he does permit poor worms of earth to glorify him by giving him a tribute of thankful praise. But this we can only do by believing in his dear Son, receiving of his fulness grace for grace, and blessing and praising his holy name for the manifestation of his goodness, mercy, and love, as brought into our soul by his own divine power.