Psalm 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Ok you can try to deny it but I am betting you can’t. You did it, just like almost every other kid growing up. Hopefully it was only to a leaf but I am guessing maybe an ant too? Yep I am talking about taking a magnifying glass outside on a sunny day. Your parents probably bought you it thinking what a great educational toy it would be. Instead we turned it into a tool of destruction making fires and pain and suffering for ants.
I say all of that because when we read verse three we see David saying that we are to magnify the Lord. Magnify means to make things appear bigger. Just like a magnifying glass makes objects look bigger, speakers magnify sound and make things louder. What is interesting is when things are magnified they are they are usually easier to see or hear. As I get older magnifying of sounds is becoming very useful! Not to the point I am needing aide yet but that is quickly approaching.
So as Christians we should be magnifying what others see and hear about the Lord. We should be making it easier for them to see him because of what they see in us. When people see us they should see Him. Our lives should magnify Him so that others around us can’t help but see him. Our words should magnify the message of the gospel. The things we say should make Jesus more clear to those around us. What a great visual image to picture ourselves as a magnifying glasses and speakers. Those two things make it easier for others to see, hear and study our Lord and Savior.
Then David reaches out when he says, ‘Let us exalt his name together.’ Us is an inclusive word. What is interesting is once you read that word us, you become part of us. Had you not read it you wouldn’t know there was one us but once you read it you do. You are called to exalt Him.
So what does it mean to exalt? Very simply it means, ‘to lift up’ or ‘speak very highly of.’ So David is telling us that we should be lifting up the Lord, we should be speaking about Him and how wonderful He is. When I think about what that means it takes me back to grade school. You want to hear kids speak highly of someone spend a in a grade school. At your lower levels you will hear just how great a child’s parents are. You remember, “Well, my dad is better than your dad because…” Move up a few grades and you will hear older boys talking about how their favorite basketball player is the greatest of all time because of this and that. Sadly it doesn’t stop in grade school. Even as adults we exalt so many people. Actors, singers, authors, athletes, we praise them for the work they do and debate which is the greatest.
What would it be like if we took that kind of dedication, passion, support and praise to our Lord and Savior? When is the last time you exalted God? When is that last time you spoke highly of him? Hopefully it hasn’t been too long! I hope you can at least say sometime in the last week. Of course I would be referring you going to church. Thinking about this scripture I think it is important that we exalt his name together with at least three different groups. The first being the church.
I hope when you go to church you are exalting our Lord together. I hope the music you sing is sung to bring glory to God and not to make the worship leader look good. I hope the words and the emotion you sing with lift up the name of Jesus and the wonderful work he has and is and will do. One of the things I miss from the church I grew up in is when we would have a time of praise. The pastor would flat out ask if anyone had a praise or blessing that happened the last week that they wanted to share. It was cool to hear the way God had been working in the lives of the people I shared pews with. It was a time for us to boast and speak highly of the amazing love and power of Jesus. I also hope when your preacher preaches there is exalting that occurs. The sermons we hear should be based on God’s word and the truth in God’s word deserves praise. The love of God should be spoken highly of. Sadly some churches feel more like God is waiting to give us a beat down whenever we mess up. Leaving us to feel shame and guilt. Church should be a place we go to learn more about our Lord and Savior. I place where we study Him. It is impossible to study Him and not speak and think highly of Him.
When I read that we are to exalt together I think it should move outside of our church doors also. I think we should be involved with others in a spiritual way on a smaller scale also. Maybe it is just a few close friends you have whose relationship is built on a mutual love for Christ. Maybe it is a bible study or small group that you share your passion for the Lord with. Whatever it is you need others around you in this way. You need others to worship and praise our Savior with. It is a great feeling to sit down with someone like that and talk about what God is doing in your life. Sharing the molding Jesus is performing in your life is such a wonderful way to praise Him and to possibly encourage and strengthen our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Speaking of brothers and sisters, that brings to mind the third group of people we should be exalting the Lord with, our family. We should be talking about and lifting up the Lord with those we are the closest to. It should be interwound into our home environment. Deuteronomy tells us in chapter 11 verse 18-20, ‘Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.’
For some families this is doing nightly devotions. For others it is talking about things at the dinner table that God may have done during the day. Both of these are great and should be a part of your families day. For my family it also means singing to christian music in the car. However, I think we should strive for more. I know I need to try to do more with my family. What about starting the morning off with a family prayer and a morning scripture reading. For some it may be hard to do a full fledge devotional or bible study. If your like me the brain isn’t fully functioning until about 9:00a.m. How good would it be though to start off your day as a family with the Word of God and a prayer. I also think husbands and wives need to share not only time together in a devotional or bible study but also should just share things we read or God shares with us during the day. There are often things I read during my person bible study time that get me excited and cause me to exalt the Lord. I need to share those with my wife and allow her to share in that together. Together we need to exalt our Lord!
1.) If you struggle to be a magnifying glass or a speaker why do you think that is?
What can you do to improve in these areas?
2.) Which of the three groups discussed do you exalt the Lord with the least? Why do you think this is? How can you improve on that?
3.) Growing up did your family practice Deuteronomy 11:18-20? If so how? How do you practice it with your family now?