Bless the Lord [Part 2]
By Alan Wright — October 09, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
Though God is complete in and of Himself, your worship of Him adds to His joy. You can bless the Lord.
Today’s Text: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” (Psalm 103:1, ESV)
It’s mind bending to consider how an all sufficient God who is already infinitely happy could be blessed by the creatures He made. Yesterday, I suggested that God’s happiness is not completely alien to the idea of my own happiness as a father. Anne and I were quite happy before we had children, but when our children were born, our joy increased. Joy, like love, isn’t a quantity. A parent can be loved by a child and then loved by a second or third child. It doesn’t diminish the love of the first child to say that the second child has added love to the parent’s life.
No has put this more beautifully than JI Packer in his classic, Knowing God:
“…God's end in all things is His own glory. That He should be manifested, known, admired, and adored, and this statement is true but it is incomplete. It needs to be balanced by recognition that through setting His love on men, God has voluntarily bound up His own final happiness with theirs.
It follows from the very nature of these relationships that God's happiness will not be complete til all His beloved ones are finally out of trouble. God was happy without man, before man was made, He would have continued happy had He simply destroyed man after man had sinned. But as it is, He has set His love upon particular sinners and this means that by His own free voluntary choice He will not know perfect and unmixed happiness again til He has brought every one of them to Heaven. He has in effect resolved that henceforth for all eternity His happiness shall be conditional upon ours. Thus God saves, not only for His own glory, but also for His own gladness.
This goes far to explain why there is joy, God's own joy in the presence of angels when a sinner repents and why there will be exceeding joy when God sets us faultless at the last day in His own holy presence. The thought passes understanding and almost beggar's belief, but there is no doubt, according to scripture, that such is the love of God.”
God not only saved you for your own eternal gladness but also for His. The more you love Him and worship Him, the greater His joy. It’s hard to imagine increasing the delight of an perfect God, but your praise and love for God blesses Him. Amazing, but that’s the Gospel!