Psalm 34: A Call to Magnify the Lord

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Devotional Word for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

There were two scripture chorus that I memorized within weeks of my conversion. Yesterday I told you about the one from Psalm 25. Today I want to tell you about the one from Psalm 34. Unlike the one from Psalm 25, it does not skip around; it just goes straight through the first 4 verses. Here’s what it says: I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear of it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord and heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

I’m so thankful to the Lord Jesus for putting this chorus into my head and heart. It, too, has had a shaping influence in my daily Christian living. I purpose to bless God day by day. I want His praise to be in my mouth continually. Not a forced, artificial praise, but genuine thanksgiving and appreciation. How does that happen?

Remember verse 14 from Psalm 25? The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. It’s to know that He is always with us. He is always watching over us. He cares for us. He is for us, not against us! If all those assertions are true – and they are! – then, we have cause to bless God at all times. We need to purpose to do so. And then put our purpose into practice.

Why? Because the circumstances of life will rise up and declare that God is not with you and that you have no cause to give thanks, but rather you should be fearful or be angry or be doubtful or be anxious or anything but in a position to praise God. In the face of all that opposition, all that antagonism to the goodness of God, we purpose to bless Him at all times! 

Notice, by the way, that it says those blessings shall be in my mouth. That means they are to be spoken, they are to be sung, the are to be prayed, they are to be given verbal expression. 

The reason we can do so genuinely is because our boast is in the Lord, not in ourselves. We know how weak we are; we know how little we know; we know how prone we are to stray; we know how easily we get things all bollixed up. But God is with us. He is our refuge. He is our strength and shield.

Two results will flow from our blessing the Lord at all time. First, the humble will hear it and be encouraged. Who are the humble? Those who know they are weak, prone to stray, small in knowledge, and easily mess up. They’re folk just like us: very aware of their humanity. Our blessing the Lord will resonate with them and engender hope and faith in them. 

Second, those humble folk will want to get together with other humble folk and praise God. Gathering together to magnify the Lord is joyous for them. By “magnify” we mean to examine closely, to enlarge so we can see more clearly. Here’s how that worked in my life soon after my conversion. 

Another fellow had just been converted out in Denver, CO. But his home was in West Lafayette, IN, where I was. He came back home. His name was Stan Felix. Somehow, we got connected within a month of our conversion. We began meeting together. I have very clear memories of Stan and I singing these choruses from Psalm 25 and Psalm 34. Stan isn’t any better at singing than I am. Sometimes we’d stop and laugh wryly at how we sounded. But then we’d go right back and sing some more. And we prayed. And we talked about what the Holy Spirit was doing in our lives. We magnified the Lord. It was very good. Of course, we also met in the context of worship with many other believers and magnified and exalted the Lord with them. 

Verse 4 of Psalm 34, the last part of the chorus, is the mainspring from which the first three verses flow. It says, I sought the Lord. We need to seek the Lord. As we seek the Lord, it goes on to say, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears. God hears our prayers. God will deliver us. He will deliver us and hold us fast. Hallelujah! Isn’t that good to know? Such knowledge, such experiences of deliverance, will lead us to bless the Lord at all times.

So, there you have them. Two scripture choruses that shaped my Christian life. I hope they are an encouragement to you as well.

Let us pray: O Lord God, we bless Your name and give thanks to You for Your great deliverances in our lives. Thank You that You’re so faithful. We exalt Your name. You are worthy of all praise. Continue to hold us fast. Continue to cause us to know Your ways and to walk in Your paths. May we follow You more faithfully day by day as You continue to spread Your love abroad in our hearts. We thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.