Psalm 34: 3
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Did you ever read a scripture you have known all your life and all of a sudden a new meaning jumps out like a jumping jack? It happened to me this morning as I spent time with my Lord. I have known this verse for a long time. And the word magnify had meaning for me as ‘praising the Lord’. It was an invitation to Praise the Lord together.
Now, yes, it does mean to praise. But today, it took on a newer, deeper meaning. I decided to dig deeper into this verse and see what God has for me. I started at the dictionary.
verb (used with object), mag·ni·fied, mag·ni·fy·ing.
1. to increase the apparent size of, as a lens does.
2. to make greater in actual size; enlarge
3. to cause to seem greater or more important; attribute too much importance to; exaggerate:
4. to make more exciting; intensify; dramatize; heighten:
5. Archaic. to extol; praise: to magnify the Lord.
To magnify as in to increase the apparent size of, as a lens does. All of a sudden, I saw a magnifying glass. We need to use a magnifying glass to realize how awesome God is. Maybe we have a magnifying glass but it is turned all wrong. Maybe we are using the lens to look at our ourselves instead of using it to look at God. When we are looking at ourselves and our problems, they can get so large. But guess what, if we take that lens and turn it onto God, we suddenly realize how small we are.
I wanted to see more, So I looked at the second portion of the verse. “Exalt His name together” What does exalt mean?
ex·alt verb ig-ˈzȯlt
: to raise (someone or something) to a higher level
: to praise (someone or something) highly
Again, we see that God wants our praise. We need to lift Him up in praise. So praise must be the way to magnify, or ‘increase the apparent size of’ our God.
Maybe another verse would tell me how to magnify the Lord. So I search for “magnify” in the Bible…
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
So here’s the “how”…. “with song” and “with thanksgiving”
When we sing unto the Lord and Praise Him we see how big He really is!
As I was searching, I accidentally typed in ‘exult’ instead of ‘exalt’. It made me curious. What is the difference between these two words. So I began to search deeper. First in the scriptures I found verses that seemed to have the same meaning
I will be glad and exult in thee,
I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High.
1 Samuel 2:1
[ Hannah’s Prayer ]
Hannah also prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation.
In Hannah’s prayer, I see that when she exalted the Lord, she was given strength and she began to rejoice.
So what’s the difference between exult and exalt?
ex·ult intransitive verb ig-ˈzəlt
1 obsolete : to leap for joy
2 : to be extremely joyful
“To leap for joy” or “Be extremely joyful”. Are you serious? Can you believe it? Leap for Joy. In Hannah’s sorrow, she exalted the Lord for strength and then she could leap for joy! Wow! So here I am searching for my joy, (and unable to jump, challenged to even walk well) And then I see that exalting the Lord caused Hannah to leap for joy!
I remember my husband telling of a lady in his church that would get so blessed that we would leave her pew (and her cane) and beginning walking and praising the Lord. God had become so magnified that she could “leap for joy!”
I’m praising God right now for this nugget of truth He has given me today!
I made a set of “Song to Magnify the Lord”. Maybe it will help you too!