I love the Psalms, the poetic sway of song and praise, thankfulness and yes even repentance. Some give heavy pen so emotional you can almost feel the author lean from the pages, grab you with fisted hand, look you in the eye and with a raspy voice: “Turn from evil and do good!” (37:27). Ok, perhaps not the raspy voice.
Yet of all the Psalms, what most resonates for me is the exalting of God.
King David wrote: “I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:1, ESV) This, the only Psalm titled ‘A Psalm of Praise, of David’, with twenty-one verses, he opens his praise with direct address ‘my God.’ Then as king himself, with surrendered heart ‘my God and King’ and his declaring is unending ‘forever and ever.’ Such humility and so much praise.
‘I will extol You’ – extol, the word is pretty much obsolete these days. It sounds so ‘Old English.’ When was the last time we used it in a sentence? It isn’t active in our speech, prayers, or worship. (Or should it?)
There are two main emphases when praising God in scripture: We worship God, (expressed in word AND deed) we are personally declaring Him as Superior: He is more, He is beyond, He is above … all. He is! In the Hebrew ‘extol’ conveys movement, the act of raising. When extolling God, we are not only raising Him in high status, but we lift His attributes as well, (the whole God-package) we grab all we know about Him and raise it as high as we can, declaring HE IS and He is all THIS! David continues the psalm extolling God in His greatness, glorious splendor, majesty, His abundant goodness, righteousness and oh, (OH!) He is abounding in steadfast love!
When we worship and extol WHO God is, we are indeed in the act of raising. Raising Him high, higher – higher than the stuff, HIGHER than ourselves.
May our life, in word and deed, extol Him.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
“I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever.” (King David, Psalm 145:1, ESV – emphasis mine) Extol, the word is pretty much obsolete these days. When was the last time we used it in a sentence – it doesn’t just roll off our tongue? (Or should it?)
Webster’s defines it, ‘to praise highly or enthusiastically.’ Looking at the many different words translated in the Old Testament on praising and glorifying God, there are two main representations: When we exalt God, (in word AND deed) we are personally declaring Him as Superior: He is more, He is beyond, He is above … all. When extolling God, we not only raise Him in high status, but we lift His attributes as well. God, YOU are holy! You are merciful! You are loving! You are sovereign! You are grace-filled and grace-giving! (Selah)
The imagery is likened to when we raise our hands in church, not only are we in a posture of surrender but raising God above – above the stuff, higher than ourselves. There have been a few times when I, reading His word and becoming so keenly aware of Him and His holiness, on the floor face down I can-not-get-low-enough. A true revelation of God will cause a gut response to do nothing else but lift Him up!
King Nebuchadnezzar experienced just this when stating: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are right and His ways are just; and those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:37) As the ancient folks came across on dry ground, safely on the shores, with the Egyptians who sought to again enslave them, now lay dead, it is said of them, the Israelites ‘believed in the LORD…” (Ex. 14:31) and sang: “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” (Ex 15:2)
Praising lavishly and magnifying His majesty! May ours, be a lifestyle of extolling God above all. (In Jesus name)
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)