March 11, 2018
Read: Psalm 34:1–4
Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 14–16; Mark 12:28–44
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.—Psalm 34:3
Sports fans love to sing their teams’ praises. By wearing logos, posting notes on Facebook about their beloved teams, or talking about them with friends, fans leave no doubt where their loyalty stands. My own Detroit Tigers caps, shirts, and conversations indicate that I am right there with those who do this.
Our sports loyalties can remind us that our truest and greatest loyalty must be to our Lord. I think of such unashamed loyalty when I read Psalm 34, where David draws our attention to Someone vastly more vital than anything else on earth.
David says, “I will extol the LORD at all times” (v. 1), and we are left to wonder about the gaps in our lives when we live as if God is not our source of truth, light, and salvation. He says, “His praise will always be on my lips” (v. 1), and we think about how many times we praise things of this world more than we praise Him. David says, “My soul shall make its boast in the LORD” (v. 2 NKJV), and we realize that we boast about our own small successes more than what Jesus has done for us.
It’s not wrong to enjoy our teams, our interests, and our accomplishments. But our highest praise goes to our Lord. “Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together” (v. 3). —Dave Branon
Lord, help me to have Your praise be on my lips and to boast in You. Help me to keep my focus on You.
Loyalty is the test of true love.
INSIGHT: How often do we give God the benefit of the doubt? Maybe we’re a lot like David. In his better moments, he was loyal to his God. At times he was determined to think nothing but the best about the Lord of heaven (Psalm 34:1). But, like us, his thoughts were often mixed with feelings of loss and worry. In verse 4 he alludes to his fears. In verses 17-18 he refers to times of trouble and writes, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
The troubles of David’s personal story, and the raw, ever-changing emotions of his songs, show a person who was far more like us than different. While wanting to never forget the goodness of God, he often found himself overwhelmed with fear and despair. By his honest complaints and times of confusion, he shows us what God can do in response to our cries for help. Like so many other men and women of the Bible, he reminds us that his God, and ours, loves to show mercy, forgiveness, and compassion to people like us. Mart DeHaan
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