By Bobby Wheat
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears,”
(Psalm 34:4, ESV).
There are many reasons to spend time with the Psalms. They help us express praise to God. They give expression to feelings of despair. They draw us into dialogue with God.
There are four words used in Psalm 34 that I am endeavoring to make a part of my daily vocabulary as I also try to live out the activities they express. These four verbs occur together in the first three verses of this Psalm, setting a tone for everything that follows.
Take a look:
I will extol the Lord at all times (verse 1). To extol something is to lift it up high, to give it high praise.
My soul will boast in the Lord (verse 2). Boasting, normally thought of negatively, takes on a divine beauty by pointing toward God. Even Paul found boasting in the Lord to be positive (1 Corinthians 1:31).
Glorify the Lord with me (verse 3a). To glorify is to bestow honor, praise and admiration. It is a strong worship word, pointing to its object with the intent to illuminate.
Let us exalt his name together (verse 3b). When a person is raised in rank or power, he is said to be exalted. The word also gives a quality to his position.
If you look in a dictionary, you’ll notice a great deal of overlapping in the definitions of these four words. They belong together in our language, even as David saw their Hebrew equivalents drawing together for a particular purpose in his own time.
Each word describes the activity of calling attention to something important. And what could be more important than the activity of a loving and righteous God?
You might take note of verse four which seems to give a reason for David’s praise. It was personal, arising out of knowledge that God hears, answers, and supports the person who loves and calls out to him.
Some folks go to dowdy extremes to avoid calling to themselves attention rightly belonging to God. In the process, they succeed in the very thing they wish to avoid. What is required is for God’s people to speak aloud about the things that God has done/is doing for them.
David apparently made a lot of noise in his attempts to draw attention to God. How much noise will you make this week as you extol, boast, glorify and exalt, all to call attention to our great, loving, powerful God?
By Bobby Wheat