Psalm 34:1 “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
“Your praise will ever be on my lips….” The refrain of Bethel Music’s song by Kalley Heiligenthal ran through my mind as I recovered from the life-threatening illness of sepsis. Not strong enough to walk my daily two miles, I made a path between my kitchen and the living room. There, in my pj’s and slippers, I walked that little path, prayed my concerns and sang those lyrics. Not the ideal situation, but I think sometimes the sweetest praise comes from those not-so-sweet moments.
The Lord had spared my life and even though it would be a while before I was “back to normal,” nothing could hinder my overwhelming gratitude. I wonder if that’s what David was feeling when he wrote Psalm 34. He had escaped to Philistine territory due to Saul’s relentless pursuit of him. When the Philistine king, Abimelech (named Achish), realized who David was, the future king of Israel feigned insanity so as not to be killed at Abimelech’s hand or be given over to Saul. His ruse worked. Abimelech drove him away. His life was spared. And he penned his reaction in Psalm 34.
Continued praise. How can praise of God be always on our lips? Certainly not because of circumstances. Circumstances fluctuate as frequently as weight gain and loss.
Continual praise flows from our awareness of God’s continual faithfulness. As David declares in the 34th Psalm, the Lord always delivers us when we call (v.17; 19). He is good (v.8). He is just (v.15-16). He is compassionate (v.18). We praise God continually because of his unchanging, incomparable nature. There is never a moment—not one single moment—when God doesn’t deserve our praise.
We don’t always see God at work. But it shouldn’t hinder our praise. We may hate our situation. But it shouldn’t hinder our praise. We may think we’ll never feel happy again. But it shouldn’t hinder our praise. We have been blessed to be called God’s child. And that’s enough to keep us going through eternity! It’s why I sing…
Won’t you join me?