Psalm 34:2

verse 2: My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.

David uses the word nephesh for “soul” here.  This word encompasses emotions, thoughts, and will.  He has bent every part of him that has life toward boasting about the greatness of God.  Boasting in this sense means shining forth in a burst of praise (halal, which, incidentally, is the root for our expression of praise “hallelujah“–“I boast about God (Jah)”).  Literally, David’s inner man was exploding in praise and thanksgiving to God for all that He is. 

Remember that verse 1 of this Psalm sets up the premise that we are to bless the Lord at all times and in all situations.  The Lord has given us a powerful weapon in praising Him.  When we explode into praise, boasting of His goodness, thanking Him for His mercy, rejoicing in who He is, regardless of the situations that we face, it unleashes the light of God to move through our lives.  And we have the assurance that “a city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).  When God begins to work and move on our behalf, He does so publicly and in a manner that grabs the attention of all.

I would think that such a public manifestation of praise would grab the attention of anybody in a three-mile radius, but David singles out the humble in this passage.  Those who are meek and lowly are the ones who rejoice along with his explosion of gratitude.  Why?  Because God brings us through circumstances so that we might be a blessing to others who are suffering as we did.  God has called us to build up the waste places (Isaiah 58:12) even as Jesus did (and continues to do).   Trials are all the more bearable when we look at them through the lens of deliverance.  We endure with patience and press on with praise knowing that the weight of authority our persistence earns is worth the struggle.

<—verse 1

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