Are You Exaggerating or Magnifying?
King David, who was spiritually speaking way ahead of his time, was totally
dedicated to the Lord and had an intimate and intense relationship with Him. In
scripture David is described as, “a man after God’s own heart” and we see how he
magnified the Lord. This is the characteristic that we need to imitate, if we are to
pursue the calling of God on our lives.
Psalms 34:3 says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together”.
Magnifying means “enlarging.” After all, a magnifying glass makes things look
bigger. Some think that applying this concept to God or to human beings almost
sounds like exaggeration: it is not.
When we exaggerate, we enlarge beyond the truth and we add things that are not there. Exaggeration is a form of lying. In contrast to this, magnifying is enlarging what is truly there, so it can be seen better. There is no lying in magnifying.
For example, when scientists magnify a cell under a microscope, they are not
adding anything to the cell. The nucleus, membrane, chromosomes, and all the
other components, really do exist. They are simply doing something to see them
better so that they can accurately describe what is already there.
David’s praise was like a magnifying glass and it helped him see and understand
God better. When he lifted his voice and proclaimed repeatedly, “Praise the Lord,
for His mercy endures forever”, he was magnifying a genuine aspect of God’s
David is not declaring this to make it a reality, he is declaring it because it is a
reality: God’s mercy really does endure forever. David is not exaggerating, he is
Not only does magnifying God help us understand Him better, but it has the benefit of making everything else smaller. In our text, as David magnified God and made Him bigger and bigger, his problems become that much smaller.
Concerning this, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary explains that, “regardless of
how great the adversities, the psalmist looks at the greatness of the Lord in relation to the insignificance of his own problems.”
This means that all of David’s fears, all the people who opposed him and all the
armies that surrounded him, became small and insignificant in comparison to how big and powerful God is. In David’s heart, even Goliath the giant became small in comparison to the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of the Armies of Heaven!
Let’s look at what the prophet Isaiah wrote:
Isaiah 40:4. “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth.”
Mountains and hills will be brought low. We know that the ultimate fulfillment of
this verse will be in the Day of the Lord. However, when we praise and magnify
God, we can have a foretaste of mountains and hills shrinking. When we place our
trust in God, mountains become molehills.
Praise God, magnify Him, make Him big, and you too will see how small and
insignificant the problems you are facing are compared to the all loving, all-
present, all-knowing and all-powerful God you serve.
Let’s take what we’ve just reflected on and apply it to what David wrote in Psalms
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?”
The Lord is our fortress. David uses strong images not only to describe just how
powerful the Lord is, but also to expresses unflinching confidence in his God.
The Hebrew word translated “fortress” is maoz; it literally means “a stronghold, a
fortified place”. In other words, as the Lexham Theological Wordbook puts it, our
God is an unassailable provider of safety and protection.
A fortress provides refuge and protection. A fortress is not just any castle: it is a
fortified stronghold, usually located in a high place.
In his commentary, John Walton explains that in ancient times some fortresses had strong defenses and adequate supplies of food and water which enabled them to endure lengthy sieges. Certain strongholds were so well supplied that they were able to withstand an attack indefinitely.
If you have walked with God any length of time, you have lived through times
where you thought you would not make it, but the Lord was your fortress: you took refuge in Him, He sheltered you during the siege and He supplied enough
resources so that you could make it.
This is exactly what the apostle Paul believed and declared:
Philippians 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
God will supply all our needs. The previous phrase was not coined by some
modern-day, positive-thinking motivational preacher, but the apostle Paul wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
It follows that this cannot be an extreme, cultish doctrine; quite the contrary: this is orthodox, New Testament Christianity. The fact that God blesses His people and
He supplies their needs is a well-established Bible truth, found in both the Old and New Testaments.
The Amplified translation boldly declares:
Philippians 4:19, “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (AMP)
As we praise and magnify our God – He will be our strong fortress; our enemies
will flee, and God will liberally supply and fill to the full our every need!
God promised us this in His Word.
We don’t need to fear – but rejoice and magnify His greatness and we will see His
salvation in every area of our lives.