The Book falls open to David’s song. It’s a plea for deliverance in the midst of trial. It is not the pouring out of angst and unbridled listing of needs and wants that strikes me. What the Spirit directs my heart toward this morning is how it ends. The sum of the psalm, after shaking out every last bit of life crumb of worry and trial, after laying before God the psalmist’s own desire of how He will deal with things, is the praise.
I will praise the name of God with a SONG, I will MAGNIFY Him with THANKSGIVING. This WILL PLEASE HIM more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. Psalm 69:30, 31
This has me dwelling on magnification. What is it, exactly? How do I do this? And why?
Penning the poem in Hebrew, David uses the root gadal: to make great. My mind furrows in concentration. Our God already is great, so other meanings must apply. I read further, digging, because I know that He’s asking me to really understand.
Magnify…to boast, lift up. Four hundred years ago, it was sometimes translated as to ‘nourish up’. Nourish. To feed. I think of supplementing, so that life, as it’s intended, may thrive. Sometimes we substitute the word ‘enlarge.’ (NAS)
I find myself thinking on a magnifying glass. When studying, for myself, or with a gaggle full of curious ten-year olds, I use a magnifying glass in attempts to zoom in and understand the underlying beauty and complexity of an object—a leaf, a cell, a drop of water. We use magnifiers to pinpoint and share specific details of a greater whole—to hone in on detail and specific aspects.
When I pause, to study nature, the very reflection of His complexity, creativity, deliberateness…I focus on the intricacies…I am left amazed, and gasp at the One who has it all in His hand and mind. This reminds me that there is One bigger than me, stronger than the world—a capable Master to take on my life and the life of others. This enables me to trust.
Do we not do that with God when we praise Him in song and word? Rather than always painting in the wide brushstrokes of Truth: God is love, God is justice, God is mercy, God is powerful, omniscient, omnipresent… does it not benefit us to take the time to squint hard and turn over in our minds, to seek and discover the minute design and heart of the One who holds us all together? And then, when with delight and the A-ha! moments, we discover something new or remind ourselves of a truth, should we not SHOUT with thanksgiving, with HALAL, to Him, to each other, to the world? Look at this! Look at HIM! Isn’t this WONDERFUL and GLORIOUS, and AMAZING?!!
What does this magnification, that we’re called to, do for us…for Him?
I know for me, it shores up my soul. It reminds me of all He is–how He loves, and holds us, moves and works, creates and takes joy in. It ties yet another knot in the bond of fellowship and family with other worshippers.
And for Him, what does it do?
It pleases him. Brings pleasure…satisfaction…laughter, perhaps? Face-crinkled, eye-welling, Yes! They get it and love me back JOY?!
When I give a gift, or serve, and the recipient turns with their heart as a smile, and acknowledges it, uses it, participates in it with thanksgiving, my heart swells. It is right. I am understood. It is good.
We are called to magnify for His pleasure, and our benefit.
We are called to be seeking deeply and sharing our discoveries in song and in word. We mustn’t be silent, with each other or the world. Mouths and spirits are so commonly clamped shut with the opposition’s tools of assumption: I’ve already said that. They know. We’ve already been over that. They’d never be interested or understand…
When I was little, I spent hours on the heat-baked asphalt, concentrating the sun’s rays through glass to a burning point of fire on dried leaves.
I am praying that I will take the magnifier of my words and song to my family, my friends, my coworkers, His church, and concentrate who He is in a flame of acknowledgement, praise and glory.
look deep to understand
and SHOUT with HALAL!