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Exalt and magnify the Lord?

30-07-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet

images16 QUESTION: I have trouble with songs which speak of exalting God. How, on earth, can we magnify God? ANSWER: The trouble with this phrase is understandable, but let us first establish that the Bible, in several places, certainly speaks about exalting God. See, e.g., the following Scriptures:

Ps 107:32 And let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people…

Ps 118:28 You are my El, and I am acclaiming You; My Elohim, I am exalting You.

Ps 145:1 { A Davidic Praise } I shall exalt You, my Elohim…

In all these cases, the verb “exalt” is a literal rendering of the Hebrew word used. It is certainly is not a translation error. The expression “exalt God” is similar to the expression “magnify God. This also, is quite often used in the Bible.

Luke 1:46 And Miriam said, “My soul is magnifying the Lord,

Acts 10:46 For they heard them speaking in languages and magnifying God.

Philippians 1:20 … Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

The difficulty with these expressions is that, objectively, it is impossible to exalt or magnify the Lord. How could we exalt Him, Who already is the Most High? Or how could we magnify Him, Who already surpasses all? Objectively this cannot be done, but subjectively it can; as Mary says: “My soul is magnifying the Lord.” In one’s experience (perception) God may only be small and unimportant. By thinking and speaking about Him more exaltedly, He is magnified for oneself and for others. Compare it with a magnifying glass; by placing, for example, letters under it, they are made much larger. Of course, not objectively, (the letters themselves do not change), but very much so, as we perceive them. So it is also with exalting and magnifying God. When we think of Him and speak about Him as He really is, then He becomes greater in our thoughts and words.