‘Extol’, now there’s an old-fashioned word. It means to praise enthusiastically. ‘Exalt’ isn’t one we would commonly use either. It means to elevate or lift up in the sense of assigning a place of honour.
David praised God for answering his prayers, protecting and providing for him centuries before Jesus was born. New Testament writers find all the more reason to worship now the fulness of God’s revelation to the world has come in Christ.
In the book of Revelation the Apostle John tries to describe a privileged glimpse he is given of Heaven’s throne room, a scene of unrivalled glory where vast numbers from all creation declare and sing God’s praise. They acknowledge His eternal nature ‘Who was, and is, and is to come’, they celebrate His awesome holiness and His wisdom and power as Maker.
‘Holy, holy, holy…You are worthy our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for You created all things and by Your will they were created and have their being.’
In the next chapter we’re led to anticipate a royal figure, the ‘Lion of Judah’ Who will share God’s throne and honour. Ah, we think, this must be David’s heroic rescuer and we look, expecting some mighty warrior. To our surprise we are shown instead a Lamb which has been ‘slain’.
This represents Jesus. No, it’s not a mistake. Heaven’s royal Son, co-Creator of all things, very humbly laid down His life as the only acceptable sacrifice for human sin. With His blood He has ‘purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.’ Therefore He is deemed ‘worthy’ of the highest honour and is authorised to carry forward God’s plans for His creation.
When we join the multitude lifting up the name of Jesus we are doing what God Himself has done. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2 that because Jesus was willing to humble Himself and suffer on behalf of mankind ‘God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.’
Some of these Bible truths are expressed in the song written by Robin Mark which follows below, sung with beautiful harmonies by The Acapella Company.
We exalt, we elevate, we honour the name of Jesus, the Creator and Lord, Who died to be our Saviour and lives to be our Friend.