Disparaged and Praised

My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!
PSALM 34:2-3
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Disparaged and Praised
The beginning of the psalm is full of the example of humility, for no one blesses the Lord except the one who is displeased with himself and curses himself and to whom God alone is pleasing. . .. He who regards himself as anything but completely detestable clearly has praise of himself in his mouth, and the praise of God is not "continually in my mouth" (v. 1). Therefore the confession of sin glorifies and praises God, and we never praise God correctly unless we first disparage ourselves. For He does not permit something else to be praised alongside Himself, nor does He want anything loved beside Himself. . .. But if this is so, how then are we to understand what follows here, "In the Lord shall my soul be praised" (v. 2)? How can we be disparaged and praised before the Lord at the same time? But it must, of course, be understood that it is indeed permitted us in the Lord, yes, it behooves us to be praised, to rejoice, and to be pleasing in the Lord. For it is a sweet business to ponder and magnify your Creator and to say, "Behold, I am the creature of so great a Lord! How happy I am that my Creator is such a person, that such a person has given me such things and such great things!"

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 34 (Luther's Works 10:162-63)
May 6
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