Calvin on Psalm 103
I found Calvin’s comments on Psalm 103:1-2 particularly helpful:
“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,”Ps 103:1-2
“The prophet, by stirring up himself to gratitude, gives by his own example a lesson to every man of the duty incumbent upon him. And doubtless our slothfulness in this matter has need of continual incitement. If even the prophet, who was inflamed with a more intense and fervent zeal than other men, was not free from this malady, of which his earnestness in stimulating himself is a plain confession, how much more necessary is it for us, who have abundant experience of our own torpor, to apply the same means for our quickening? The Holy Spirit, by his mouth, indirectly upbraids us on account of our not being more diligent in praising God, and at the same time points out the remedy, that every man may descend into himself and correct his own sluggishness.Not content with calling upon his soul (by which he unquestionably means the seat of the understanding and affections) to bless God, the prophet expressly adds his inward parts, addressing as it were his own mind and heart, and all the faculties of both.” (bold and underline mine)
This is so true! If David–the man who wrote many of our Psalms–had to fight against sloth and laziness which prevented him from worshipping God, shouldn’t we as well? So often I think we just kind of drift along, assuming that God is going to change us. While God is at work in us, He calls us to work out our own salvation while He is working in us (Phil 2:12-13; Col 1:28-29). Thus, we need to preach the gospel to ourselves and strive to put death coldness of heart and laziness. And as Calvin says, the “remedy” is here before us: we have to descend into our own hearts and minds and preach the gospel to ourselves.