Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
The proper response to divine favours received is a personal commitment to bless the LORD. Thankfulness leads the beneficiary to worship the Giver, who is the LORD. In the previous verse, the psalmist has already exhorted his soul twice to bless the LORD; and now a third time he says, “Bless the Lord.” The repetition denotes the earnestness of his desire to express His gratitude. Besides, he stirs up his soul to employ itself in grateful worship of the LORD. The worship of the Lord must rise from the inner man. It is a soul-work. Jesus reprimanded those who engaged in lip-worship. Citing Isaiah, He said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matt. 15:8; Cf. Is. 29:13; Ezek. 33:31). No worship exists when the heart is not sincerely and earnestly employed in praising the LORD.
In Deuteronomy 8:10-14 the LORD warned Israel against forgetting His benefits – “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God …”
Recollecting and recognising the LORD’s help, guidance, rebuke, promises, spiritual blessings, physical provisions, strength, hope, etc. will provide genuine impetuses for the worship of His name. Grateful emotions make the soul to yearn to bless the LORD. Recognition of the Lord’s blessings in his life caused a psalmist to cry out, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people” (Ps. 116:12-14).
In order to mould oneself to be a better worshipper of the LORD, one should awaken his memory of the benefits he received from the LORD. Our memory is like a large storehouse. Recollection will bring to present awareness those things stored up in the memory, producing powerful passions of gratitude and worship in our hearts.