1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
What really grabs my attention about this psalm is its unconditionality. The very first line of the psalm reads, “I will extol the Lord at all times”. I think that’s very applicable to us right now. We all know it’s easy to praise God when things are going well, but in a global pandemic, that probably isn’t our first thought. In fact, I’ve found myself doing the opposite. I’ve asked God why this is happening and getting frustrated because he is allowing it to happen. The truth is, we will never know exactly why this is happening, but we do know that his knowledge is infinitely more than ours. He sees this pandemic through completely different eyes than we do, and because of that, we should trust that he has a plan in it and we should continue to rejoice in him.
Psalm 34 continues to say, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name forever”. If we can try to see our world right now through his lens, we will see the blessings that we can get out of it. The world is more unified right now than it has been for a very long time. Countries all over the world are fighting for a singular goal, and making efforts together to repair what has been lost. Looking at the world I have grown up in to this point, that unification almost looks like a miracle. Of course, I don’t want to in any way downplay the hardship that this is bringing on the world. It’s devastating. Families and countries alike will be broken for an indefinite amount of time. It’s obviously okay to be upset about that and to wrestle with God about it, but I also think it’s important to recognize the evidence in this event that our world can come together despite political views, race, gender, religion, or anything else.
For so long we have been dividing each other into groups to the point where any small difference can make people enemies. If COVID-19 ever does anything positive, it proves to a new generation that we are not all enemies; we are one. For that reason, I will glorify the Lord. Let us exalt his name together. “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
Hey God, I pray that we would see today through your eyes and that you would bring us together to glorify you. I pray that we would taste and see how good you really are.