Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
- Central verses of Scripture
As reiteratedly shown, the Bible has different "centers" depending on the criterion adopted. The above centers are found when searching within the linear sequence of Bible chapters and verses respectively.
O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
- Central chapter of Scripture
God's Intelligence designed those central verses with specific purposes in mind - He teaches the central purpose of our existence and presents it in two distinct ways.
It is a very beautiful fact that He managed to produce two pairs of verses as the central passages in the Bible. The number of verses is even, so the center must be a pair of verses. And Psalm 117 "just happens" to have two verses. They both remind us of the meaning of the Number 2, the symbol of division. They divide the Bible in two halves in two distinct ways - chapterwise and versewise.
These two pairs of verses also remind of the second Hebrew letter, Bet. Bet means the House, which is a very powerful archetype of duality. The House defines and divides between what is in and what is out. And the In/Out duality is very visible when when compare the content of these paired verses. They both command us to praise and bless the Lord, but in distinct ways.
Psalm 103 says: "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." It is a prayer directed inward - it teaches our inner selves, indeed, our heart, to bless the Lord. In a contrasting manner, Psalm 117 says: "Praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people." This prayer goes outward - it is directed to the whole world. We should teach everyone to praise the Lord.
Psalm 103:1,2 and Psalm 117:1,2 are both similar and distinct - they teach us to bless and praise the Lord with our individual souls and with all the people in the world.
May I bless the Lord with all my heart and may everyone praise Him for His merciful kindness! Amen and amen!