2. Exalting In the Fear of the Lord Psalm 34:3-4

Text:  “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together.”
                                                               Psalm 34:3.

Good morning, exultant Christian!  You do not exalt the name of any human leader.   You do not exalt the name of any pop idol.  You will never seek to exalt your Pastor, your Sunday-School teacher; your Youth Pastor; your choir leader, or any other mere sinner, even if they have been gloriously saved by God’s Sovereign grace.  Why?  Because only the Name of the Lord is worthy to be truly exalted, feared, worshipped and praised.  Hallelujah!  Let us magnify the Lord together in reverent fellowship.

Dictionary Definitions:       
         Magnify - (verb transitive) to make great or greater; to enlarge; to cause to appear greater; to exaggerate; to praise highly… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 967)

          Exalt - (verb transitive) to place in a high position (of respect, reverence, etc.) to elate or fill with the joy of success; to extol or praise;… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 561)

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together.”  (Psalm 34:3)

In this one verse of Psalm 34, we find the Psalmist, David, encouraging his readers/hearers to ‘magnify’ and to ‘exalt’ the Living Lord God, Jehovah - Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 

David had been made king of all Israel by the Lord in seemingly impossible circumstances; circumstances beyond his wildest dreams!  The Lord had taken a mere shepherd boy from the fields, anointed him for service; given the Philistine giant, Goliath, into his hands and, eventually, the throne of Israel. 

Wow!  Is it any wonder at all that David desired to magnify the Lord, to publish abroad the Lord God’s absolute Sovereignty, and to exalt, in reverence, His Holy Name?  Hallelujah!  Magnify the Lord!  Uplift His Holy Name!

“For the Lord your God is God of gods (small g!), and Lord of lords (small l!), a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward (bribes); He doth execute the judgement of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.” (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  (Luke 1:37)  Praise and exalt His Name!

Not only did David seek to magnify the Lord and to exalt His Name in private worship, no!  In this verse of God-inspired Scripture, David is commanding his people to magnify the Lord with him, in reverence of the Lord and in fellowship together with the people of God.  The Lord God inhabits the praise of His people.  He LIVES within the hearts of the people who worship and praise Him!  What a wondrous thing!

“But Thou art Holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Spiritual Israel, the regenerate Christian believer and the elect Jew.)  Our fathers trusted in Thee, they trusted, and Thou didst deliver them.”  (Psalm 22:3-4)

“…As God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (2 Corinthians 6:16)

“That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

The Lord God, Jehovah, elects (chooses) ‘His people’ for Salvation in Eternity, before we are ever born into this world; He quickens us, makes us Spiritually alive, by His Word and His gift of saving faith in Christ; He convinces us of our sin, Christ’s righteousness, and the judgement to come by His Spirit; grants us His gift of true repentance and saves our never-dying souls.  Then, sanctified by the precious Blood of Christ the Lamb, and His one-time Sacrifice for our sins; He justifies us by Christ’s resurrection, and then, and only then, does He see fit to dwell within us as our Lord and our Saviour God.  Wow! 

Surely these miracles of regeneration blessing are something to both magnify the Lord and exalt His Holy Name about together?  Let me hear it?  Hallelujah!

Verse 4. “I sought the Lord, and He heard me.  God expects to hear from you before you can expect to hear from Him.  If you restrain prayer, it is no wonder the mercy promised is restrained.  Meditation is like the lawyer’s studying the case in order to do his pleading at the bar; when, therefore, thou hast viewed the promise and affected thy heart with the riches of it, then fly thee to the throne of grace and spread it before the Lord.” (William Gurnall 1617-1679)

Thought:  Those of us who ’fear the Lord’ - view the Lord God at all times with complete reverence, and a desire to be obedient to His will - study His Word to show ourselves approved of Him.  Being approved of Him, we continually seek to magnify and exalt His Holy, Sovereign and truly gracious Name.

Teachings on ‘The Fear of the Lord’ 1. Praising in the Fear of the Lord Psalm 34:1

Text: “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continuously be in my mouth."
Psalm 34:1.

Good morning, Praising Christian!  Your lips are continually praising the Lord, because your heart and soul are continually living in godly reverence, or fear, of His Holy Name.  Godly fear, or heart-felt reverence of the Lord God Jehovah, contains no trace of dread, only reverent awe and wonder at the unfathomable depths of God’s Sovereign grace to sinful mankind.  Once our minds grasp the concept of God’s Sovereign grace to Hell-deserving sinners, our hearts, minds and tongues cry out our groans of voluntary praise of Him and to Him.  Hallelujah!  The Lord God has saved ME!  Glory to the mention of His grace!  Jesus Lives!  And Jesus Lives in ME!  Hallelujah!

Verse 1.  “I will bless the Lord at all times.  He who praises God for mercies shall never want (lack) a mercy for which to praise. To praise the Lord is never unseasonable.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 165)

Humanly speaking, ‘blessing the Lord at all times’ might prove to be a most difficult, if not impossible, task at particular times.  Life, especially life that is lived trying to actively and openly serve the Living Lord God, in Christ Jesus, can be very tempestuous indeed.  The unbelieving, increasingly anti-Christian world, detests our witness; our own fallen flesh is so prone to want to accept the proffered temptations offered; the Devil, that ‘old Serpent’, and all his fallen agents, are ever militant in seeking ways to snare us as we ‘…walk as pilgrims through this barren land…’ 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9)

However, mature Christians know from experience that ‘blessing the Lord’, shouting praises unto God - in times of temptation, torment, and testing - is a mighty weapon against Satanic forces Spiritual and temporal, and soon brings us Divine help and support from Above.

“But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His Eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect (mature), stablish, strengthen, settle you.  To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11)

Hallelujah!  ‘Bless the Lord at all times’!  We have the Victory in Christ Jesus!

Verse 2.  “My soul shall make her boast in the Lord.  Boasting is a very natural propensity, and if it were used as in this case, the more it were indulged the better.  The exultation of this verse is no mere tongue bragging; the soul is in it, the boasting is meant and felt before it is expressed.  What scope there is for Holy boasting in Jehovah!”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 165)

Why does the militant, forthright Christian engage in such ‘holy boasting’?  What Godly purpose is achieved by such an outward practice?  When we ask ourselves such vital questions during study of God’s Word, only then does God the Spirit - the Divine Author of all canonical Scripture - reveal unto us His Eternal purpose.  We engage in such sanctified boasting in the Lord in order to encourage and enlighten ‘…the humble…’; those who may be living in subjection to sin, to ungodly lifestyles, to addictive enslavement to the flesh.

Verse 2.  “…The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  When victorious Christian testimony is forthrightly proclaimed, other souls who are enslaved by their sin hear the good news of Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus and in His full Atonement for our sin at Calvary’s Cross.  They hear, and are enlightened, and are encouraged to seek this Eternal Salvation for themselves. 

I have often heard the remark, after giving testimony of God’s saving grace to me, ’…the chief among sinners…’: “Well, if the Lord God can save a gross ex-terrorist sinner like this guy McClinton, then He can also save ME!”

“So then (a conclusion) faith cometh by hearing (listening, reading?) and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

Someone once explained the process we are studying as ’One well-fed beggar, telling other hungry beggars where to find bread.’  

Jesus is the Bread of Life to all that, in Eternity, the Father has given Him to save.  It is in Christ Jesus we true Christians must make our boast; it is about Christ Jesus our boast rings out; it is in Christ alone, and in His sinless Sacrifice on the Cross alone - that regenerate Christians make our fervent boast.  Hallelujah!  He is risen indeed!

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth (believes and continues to believe, trusts) on Me shall never thirst…All that the Father giveth me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”  (John 6:35-37)  Now, this is a Salvation to boast about.

Thought:  If we have, by God’s grace, discovered the Bread of Life - can we fail to boast out the good news that other hungry, sin-bound, souls might also find Salvation?  Go forth and tell Spiritual beggars where to find true Bread.

8. Waiting, Trusting, Hoping Psalm 33:20-22

Text:  “Our soul waiteth for the Lord; His is our help and our shield…we have trusted in His Holy Name…Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee.”
                                                                                                             Psalm 33:20-22.

Good morning, waiting, trusting, hoping Christian!  Your Spiritually regenerate soul and mine are waiting for the coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  We are depending completely in Him and His Divine help, for, of ourselves, we confess openly that we are utterly fallible and weak sinners.  Confessing ourselves to be thus weak, we are made strong in Christ Jesus, and shielded by His Sovereign arm as we continue to trust in Him.  He is our only true hope - and He will NEVER let us down.  Hallelujah!  Satan, the world of apostasy, and our ever-traitorous flesh can never separate us from God’s mercy and love.  In Christ Jesus, we have the Eternal Victory.

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For (the conclusion) I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers (Spiritual and temporal authorities), nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (including our fallible selves!), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.”  (Romans 8:37-39)

In Christ Jesus, all who have been elected by God the Father, given to God the Son, called in time to repentance and faith by God the Holy Spirit - are Eternally secure in Christ and our souls are joined together as one in His Body, the true Spiritual Church.

Verse 20.  “Our soul.  Not our souls, but our soul, as if they all had only one.  And what is the language of God by the prophet?  “I will give them one heart and one way.”  And thus the two disciples going to Emmaus exclaimed, upon their discovery and surprise, “Did not our heart burn within us?”  And thus in the beginning of the Gospel it was said, “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart, and of one soul.”  We have seen several drops of water on the table, by being brought to touch, running into one.  If Christians were better acquainted with each other, they would easily unite.”  (William Jay 1769-1853)

Now, with this insight in mind, dear friend, read again our textual verses for this Bible Lesson: “Our soul (singular soul) waiteth (waits and steadfastly continues to wait) for the Lord: He is our help and our shield.  For our heart (singular heart) shall rejoice in Him, because we (singular we) have trusted in His Holy Name.  Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee (I.e. if we don’t hope in Thee, then we cannot reasonably expect Thy mercy, O Lord.).”  (Psalm 33:20-22)

Bible Reading Rule: If the Word makes perfect sense - don’t make it nonsense!

So, the singular soul of the Body of Christ - the true regenerate Church of Jesus Christ - is ’waiting continually’ for the Lord.  This does not mean that we are sitting around on our hands idly waiting, nor does it mean that we are merely ’playing church’.  No!  We are to be continually WAITING for the Lord, as one would wait on tables at a restaurant - serving, cleaning, tidying, making sense of the given menu.  This is no time for lazy Christianity, the entire world is hurtling at break-neck speed towards total anarchy and Armageddon!  The Lord returns real soon.  Are YOU and I ready?

In the last chapter of John’s Gospel we find the risen Lord Jesus instructing the repentant and restored Peter: “…‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more that these?’  He saith unto Him, ’Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee.’  He saith unto him, ’Feed My sheep’.”  Then “The second time…’Feed My lambs.’”  And the third time, “…Feed My sheep.”  (John 21:15-17)

If therefore, our souls are waiting continually for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and if He is indeed our help and our Shield; and if we are rejoicing in Him, and trusting fully in Him; and expecting His mercy when He returns to this world as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah - why are we not out feeding His sheep?  Sobering thought.  

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre (financial payment, wage), but of a ready mind.”  (1 Peter 5:2)

Verse 20.  “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: He is our help and shield.  There is a an excellent story of a young man that was at sea in a mighty, raging tempest; and when all the passengers were at their wits’ end for fear, he only was merry; and when he was asked the reason of his mirth, he answered, “That the pilot of the ship was his father, and he knew his father would have a care of him.”  The great and wise God, Who is our Father, hath from all Eternity decreed what shall be the issue of all wars, what the event of all troubles; He is our Pilot, He sits at the stern; and though the ship of the church or State be in a sinking condition, yet be of good comfort, our Pilot will have a care of us.

“There is nothing done in the lower house of Parliament on earth but what is first decreed in the higher house in Heaven.  All the lesser wheels are ordered by the upper. ‘Are not five sparrows’, saith Christ, ‘sold for a farthing?’  One sparrow is not worth half a farthing.  And there’s no man shall have half a farthing’s worth of harm more than God hath decreed from all Eternity.”  (Edmund Calamy 1600-1666)

Thought:  Grace unlimited is ours when our Creator Lord ordains us for Salvation.  Trust the Sovereign Lord Jesus, and in Him wait with certain hope.

7. God: A Watching Father Psalm 33:18-19

Text:  “Behold, (Look and understand!) the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) Him, upon them that hope in His mercy.”
                                                                                                                  Psalm 33:18.

Good morning, Divinely-observed Christian!  No matter where you and I go; no matter where you and I are at any given time - our Heavenly Father is watching over us and observing our every action.  He is NOT the ‘God of the big stick’, watching and waiting for us to fall into disobedience so as He can whack us with the rod of chastisement.  No.  He is watching over us for our good, our Eternal good, that our expectations might be of Him and not of mere human hand or will.  Hallelujah!

Dictionary Definition:  Expectation - (noun/verb) the act or state of expecting; the prospect of future good; that which is or may fairly be expected; that which should happen, according to general norms of custom or behaviour; the degree of probability; the value of something expected… (The Chambers Dictionary, page 568)

In Christ Jesus, we who are Spiritually born again of Him, have great expectation indeed - because we are promised Eternal life through His Sacrifice at the Cross - and in our present lives daily we have the assurance that the Lord God is watching over us for our good.  Now this is a thought that should encourage every true Christian believer today.  Hallelujah!  We are Eternally secure in Christ and our every need is provided.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19)

“But, what happens when I completely fail the Lord and fall into disobedience to His revealed will?”, I hear some cry.  “If the Lord is watching over me when this disobedience occurs - surely He will not think of my good, but will punish me instead?”

Our Lord God Almighty is a Holy Lord God Who must punish all sin and all disobedience to His perfect and Sovereign will.  However, for we who are saved by Christ’s Atonement, He has already punished our sin, when it was laid upon our Saviour, Jesus Christ, at Calvary. 

Our sin - past, present, and future sins - were all laid upon Christ on Calvary’s Cross, and He took the blame and received the due punishment for us! 

The sin question - as far at our Standing in God’s Family is concerned - is forever settled by Christ’s Substitutionary Sacrifice.  When we sin in acts of disobedience in our daily State, our daily lives today, we must confess that sin, repent from that sin, and seek to the best of our ability not to commit such sin again.  The Lord is continually watching over us for our good.  This is State & Standing Theology.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”  (1 John 1:8-10)

Disobedience and sin separate us in fellowship with our Holy Lord God and breaks the spirit of unity within our sphere of Christian fellowship.  But nothing can separate us from the Lord God in our Family Standing - Salvation is of the Lord, not ourselves!  His Heavenly eyes are forever watching over ‘His people’ for our good.

“And she (Mary) shall bring forth a Son, and thou (Joseph) shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21)

Verse 18. “The eye of the Lord is upon.  Look upon the sun, how it casts light and heat upon the whole world in its general course, how it shineth upon the good and the bad with an equal influence; but let its beams be but concentrated in a burning-glass; then it sets fire on the object only, and passeth by all others.  Thus God, in the Creation looketh upon all His works with a general love - errant omnia valde bona - they pleased Him very well.  Oh!  But when He is pleased to cast the beams of His love, and cause them to shine upon His elect through Christ, then it is that their hearts burn within them, then it is that their affections are inflamed; whereas others are but as it were a little warmed, have a little shine of common graces cast upon them.”  (Richard Holdsworth 1590-1649)

The Lord God looks with such heart-burning love upon all His obedient children and delivers us from all evil and harm.  Our Father is watching over us for good.

Verse 19.  “To deliver their soul from death.  The Lord’s hand goes with His eye; His Sovereignty preserves those whom He graciously observes.  Rescues and restorations hedge about the lives of the saints; death cannot touch them till the King signs His warrant and gives him leave, and even then his touch is not so much mortal as immortal; he doth not so much kill us as kill our mortality.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 164)

Verse 19.  “To keep them alive in famine.  “The Lord is MY Shepherd, I shall not want.”  Hallelujah!  What a wonderful and abundantly gracious Lord God we serve!  Let us walk before Him in obedience and adoring love.  Amen.

Thought:  “Behold, (Look and understand!) the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) Him, upon them that hope in His mercy.” (Psalm 33:18)