I will bless the Lord at all time; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together. - Psalm 34:1-3 (NASB)
Over the last couple of months I have been teaching from selected Psalms during our Wednesday evening prayer service. As I was preparing for this week’s study of Psalm 34, I was immediately reminded of two choral anthems that I had used in past years whose texts come directly from this Psalm. “O Magnify, O Magnify the Lord With Me” and “O Taste and See”. Both anthems were exciting to sing, exciting to hear, and were also tunes that stuck with you. As a matter of fact, I have been singing them all day today.
The psalmist gives us a great word of encouragement within this psalm that I would like to bring to your attention today. He says we are to Bless the Lord, Boast in the Lord, and Invite others to do the same.
First, he reminds us to bless the Lord at all times. You may ask, “How can I do that?” Well he answers that for you in the next statement, “His praise shall CONTINUALLY be in my mouth.” (Emphasis mine!) Did you see the word, continually? If we are filling our mouths with words of praise then there will not be much room for anything else. When you reflect on the greatness and goodness of God, you should not have trouble filling your mouth with His praises.
The second thing the psalmist states is that we are to boast in the Lord. When we boast about something or someone, we usually find ourselves getting pretty loud and proud, right? That is what the psalmist is saying to us here as well. We should be proud to boast in the greatness of our God (notice whose greatness we are boasting in). As we boldly proclaim the greatness of our God before others, those who are humble around us will hear and rejoice as well. What about those who are not humble? I can assure you that there are those in this world that do not want to hear. However, if we proclaim boldly, they will hear of the greatness of our God. We can pray that God will humble them and bring them to the point of surrender in their lives. When that happens, they too will rejoice!
The final thought in this passage is that we are to invite others to do the same. Isn’t that what he says in verse 3? “O magnify the Lord WITH me, And let us exalt His name TOGETHER.” (Emphasis mine!) Do you see those two words? "With" and "together" both indicate an invitation for others to join you in an activity. You are not saying to someone, “O magnify or exalt the Lord FOR me.” When we invite someone to join us, the invitation is to join us in an activity in which we are already participating. There is power in corporate praise and the psalmist reminds us of this truth with this simple invitation.
These first three verses give these simple instructions to us but I get really pumped when I read verses 8-10 of this psalm. They give me proof once again that the God I serve is faithful and true and that He satisfies all my needs. “O taste and see that the Lord is good…For to those who fear Him there is no want.” (Psalm 34 8a, 10b NASB)
I encourage you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to join me today in exalting and magnifying our Lord together. If you do not know Christ personally, I pray that you will accept the invitation of the Psalmist to taste and see that the Lord is good.