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Did God sneeze? (Psalm 119:12)

Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes
 (Psa. 119:12 NRSV).

Why does the psalmist bless God?  Did God sneeze?  (If God sneezed would you say, “God bless God”?)

Yeah, we don’t really understand blessing very well today if we think only think blessing follows sneezing.  Blessing is huge in the Bible.  It’s the first thing God does to the freshly created humans (Gen. 1:28) and what God is going to do through Abraham’s descendents to all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:3).

So, God blesses us, but how do we bless God?  Throughout the psalms, the people are called to bless YHWH because of how he has blessed them(Psa. 28:6; 31:21; 41:13; 68:19; 144:1).  The primary way the people are called to bless God is through praise (Psa. 106:48; 135:21).

One way the psalmist here blesses God is that he writes an acrostic song 176 verses long singing the praises of God’s word.  Specifically in this verse, the psalmist asks God to be his Torah-teacher. (The Hebrew word “blessed” in 119:12 is barak, here as a passive participle, so this fourth verse of the Bet section begins appropriately with Bet.)

How do you bless God? 

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