Meditation Commentary on Psalm 34:1-3
1I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
Two words jump out to me in verse one of this passage: “all” and “continually.” David made no mistake when he used these words in his writing. Did he say that he would bless the Lord sometimes? Or, that God’s praise would occasionally be in his mouth? Most certainly not! Okay, maybe he meant, “I will bless the Lord as much as possible, and praise Him every time I get a chance.” God’s word is divinely inspired, and it is no mistake that when speaking of the duration in which he would praise the Lord, David used the Hebrew word, “tamiyd.” This word, as used in this text is translated, “continually,” but can also mean “to stretch,” or “perpetual.” We often hear of “perpetual sinning” or a “perpetual liar,” but how often do we hear of a perpetual Christ-praiser? Oh, what a beautiful description! – to perpetually praise the Name of the Lord God Almighty!
Let’s rephrase the beginning of verse two a bit: “My mind, will and emotions shall make their boast in the Lord.” The word “boast” that is used here, comes from the Hebrew word, “halal,” and is synonymous with a few words; such as celebrate, commend, and shine. I believe that David was communicating that his complete glory was in the Lord. How often do we find ourselves “boasting” in the things of this world – in earthly treasures? As Christians, our complete beings – our souls – should continually give glory and praise to the Lord. Our own achievements and human successes should fall dim in the background compared to the praise and recognition we give the Lord at all times.
When you take a magnifying glass and place it over an object, it brings into focus things that would otherwise be overlooked. A Christian’s life should be one that, when in line with God, brings great attention to the things of the Lord. Whether it is in our fellowship with other like-minded believers, or simply in our everyday lives, we should continually “make big” the name of the Christ. 1 Corinthians says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” If Christ is our one true Love, it should be evidenced by the words and actions of our lives; bringing the focus on the Lord. When it comes to magnification, it is reassuring to know that God is not limited by human terms. He says in Ezekiel 38:23, “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”
It is humbling to consider the fact that David wrote these verses around a time when his life was in was in danger. Although he was forced to flee from cave to cave and continually run for his life, David managed to give glory unto God and express his heart through this passage. I live in a wonderful country, was blessed to be born into an incredible family, live in a house, sleep in my own warm bed, have a great job, and have wonderful friends…just to name a few things. I am blessed. Did I mention that the government of my country is not out to kill me and that I’m not living in the wilderness? Even in light of all these positive things, I find myself failing to give my Savior the praise that is due His Name. Lord, I pray that you would daily give me grace to continually and perpetually uplift Your most Holy Name.