Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Did you notice that this Psalm ends with the same phrase it begins with ~ Praise the Lord, O my soul? However, I believe there is a significant change in the Psalmists' heart from the beginning to the end. In the beginning the Psalmist is probably going through a hard time, a moment of confusion and despair and he tells his soul to praise the Lord and not forget all His benefits. He then goes on to list many of the benefits of the Lord. The list is long and beautiful: He forgives, He is compassionate, patient, kind, He loves us, He knows we are but dust yet so GREAT is HIS LOVE for us (If you have time I would highly recommend going back and rereading each benefit and take the time to pause, reflect and pray on each one. It's a pretty incredible list and it will refresh you). By the end of the list the Psalmist is excitedly telling everyone to praise God, from the heavenly hosts, to the angels, to his very own soul. The change that takes place from the place of discouragement to the place of declaring, believing and understanding what is true: THAT HIS LOVE IS GREAT, so GREAT we can't help but praise the Lord, O my soul.