What Does it Mean to Bless God?

The other day I was pondering the question of what it means to “bless God.”  In some ways it sounds rather inappropriate, because God is so great and I am so small that I can’t see how I could ever really bless him.  As I was thinking, I even began to wonder if the Bible actually calls us to bless God which lead me to Psalm 134.

Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,

who stand by night in the house of the LORD!

Lift up your hands to the holy place

and bless the LORD

May the LORD bless you from Zion,

he who made heaven and earth!

Psalm 134 is the second shortest Psalm in the Bible and in it we are commanded to bless God twice and once told that God will bless us.  What’s interesting is that the same Hebrew word is used for us blessing God and for God blessing us.  Which begs the question, how can I give anything to God that would be considered a blessing? Especially when it says just a few verses later that God is going to give me something that is a blessing.

Some translations have gone so far as to actually change the word at he beginning of the psalm to “praise”, while keeping the last use of the word as “bless”. When I started to look through some commentaries to see if I could get some help I came across this quote from James Montgomery Boice, which I found to be very insightful:

What will happen if you do take God seriously and worship [bless] him reverently, as he needs to be worshiped? The “Maker of heaven and earth” will “bless you from Zion” (v. 3).

This last blessing is not merely something tacked on, like a thoughtless benediction at the end of a morning service. In the Hebrew text the word “praise,” as in “Praise the Lord” in verses 1 and 2, is the same word as “bless” in verse 3. So the thought is that if we bless God in our worship, as we must, then God will also bless us abundantly in our daily lives. This is the only ultimate goal of any Christian: to bless God and to be blessed by him – to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

The point is that we bless God in the sense that we actually do Him good when we praise Him, which is the idea behind blessing “to do good to someone”. In other words, it matters to God that we worship him because it does Him good.  Not that God is lacking in any way but He actually desires heartfelt worship and is pleased when His children worship Him. In turn, God blesses us and does good to us as we worship because in worshiping God we are doing what we were naturally created to do and thus we find fullness of joy and blessing as we worship.

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May 17 2010 04:00 am | Devotional

  • http://ministrycare.org Gary Reed

    I often question the same thing, thinking only God can “bless”. Thanks for the reminder of “praise does God good!

  • disqus_Hojv71mM6F

    Thank you, this was really helpful :)