Contagious Worship: All the Time, All Together (Psalm 34:1-3)
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! —Psalm 34:1-3
As David begins Psalm 34, he does more than merely pen the first verse to a worship song—he shows us something significant about the contagious nature of worship.
All the Time
In verse 1 David begins by telling us that worship doesn’t have an “off” switch. He will bless the LORD “at all times” and praise will “continually” be in his mouth. His worship didn’t depend on his circumstances. Lest we forget, this isn’t glib talk from someone who’s never seen suffering. This is David, who experienced the constant stress of being hunted by Saul, the grief of losing his child at birth, and the betrayal of his son turning on him. Yet, David’s worship doesn’t waver. How was that possible? Because his worship was based on the changeless certainty of God’s supremacy and not the changing circumstances of his situation. The secret to “all-the-time” worship is having an “all-the-time” God. We can continually worship, because He is continually worthy and continually with us. God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
Hearing Hallelujahs Makes Humble People Happy
David’s “all-the-time” praising of our “all-the-time” God falls on the ears of others in verse 2. There we find that as others overhear David’s worship, it has an effect on them. The humble hear it and are happy. But why? Why does hearing someone else boast in God make these people happy? And what’s the connection to their humility?
The answer is in the object of the boasting. When people boast about themselves, it’s extremely off-putting. But David’s not boasting in himself. He’s boasting in the greatness and goodness of his God. His life is one loud, long, unbroken hallelujah. When the humble hear this hallelujah, David says it makes them happy. How does his hallelujah lead to their happiness? The key is found in the humility of the hearers. These are people who know they are not the main point—the LORD is! All of us enjoy hearing praise for whatever we think praiseworthy. The problem is that, in our pride, many of us believe ourselves to be that which is praiseworthy. The humble know better and rejoice when they hear others boast about our praiseworthy God.
Now that David’s “all-the-time” worship has spilled over into the happiness of the humble, he invites them to join him in worship “all together” in verse 3. “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” David’s worship has become contagious. When we continually point to the greatness of our God no matter our circumstances, other humble saints hear it and are strengthened and made happy by the reminder of His goodness. With the joy of their salvation restored, they will want to join in the “all-the-time” worship. This is contagious worship—constantly spreading from one humble, happy saint to another. When “all-the-time” worship from one saint meets the ears of another, the result is humble, happy worship “all together.”
Are you able to “bless the LORD” at all times? What makes it difficult? How can you focus your worship more on God’s supremacy than your situation?
When you hear others boast in the LORD, does it make you glad? Why or why not? How can verse 2 help you rejoice this week as you hear the worship of others?
Who will you invite to worship with you this week? How will your joy in God spill over into the lives of others?