Monday, May 20, 2024

           Psalm 34 is a real gem of a chapter in the Bible.  If you have read all 150 Psalms recently, then you have spent some time with these compelling words.  The opening three verses of Psalm 34 offer us a blueprint or template for how we can begin and even end our days.  We read, “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.  I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”  We can wake up extolling the Lord and fall asleep doing the same.  Praising God and acknowledging His greatness are wonderful bookends to begin and end your day.  Rise with the Lord in the morning and end the day by falling asleep with thoughts of Him on your mind.  By doing this, you might actually find that you praise God more during the day and that you become more aware of what God is doing in your life and the lives of those around you.  The expression “His praise will always be on my lips” reminds us that we can live in awe and amazement of who God is and all that He has done.
            Verse 2 speaks of the afflicted hearing the rejoicing and praising of God’s people. Often, as we go through unpredictable and unsettled times, praising can make a difference.  As we praise God, we become more aware of His presence with us and beside us.  Just as we are more connected to those with whom we frequently text, talk and call, we can build a closer relationship with the Lord through conscious times of praising and extolling Him.  We might even see our “afflictions” as less frightening or intimidating as we praise the Lord.  We begin to see and speak of HIS greatness and glory.
            In verse 3, David invites us to “glorify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together.”  Just imagine, when we praise or glorify God we are doing so alongside the giants of our faith like David, Paul, Jeremiah, John or Isaiah.  We are standing in the traditions of praise that those who have gone before us have paved and laid for us to follow.  When David was king, he humbly recognized all that God had graciously given to Him and done for Him.  None of these gifts was earned or deserved but David was the beneficiary of God’s abundance and generosity.  We could easily agree with David today and look on in awe about the depth and breadth of God’s many riches and grace expressed to us.  The greatest gift we enjoy is the promise of eternity shared with Him and other believers through the work of Christ at the cross. While we have earned nothing and deserve nothing, we are told in Ephesians 1:3 that we have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  We already own and possess these riches in and through Christ.
            As Psalm 34 instructs, glorify the Lord with someone today.  Exalt His name with someone.  Speak of His greatness to those around you.  Be thankful that you know Him and can walk with Him each day.  Hold on to the promise that we find in verse 7, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and he delivers them.”  Have a great Monday!  

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