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The root meaning of the word "exalt" (sometimes also translated as "extol") means "to raise up". The use of this word in connection with God emphasizes all the ways in which He is immeasurably higher or greater than any human, and the unique degree to which humans are therefore to praise Him and take Him as both an authority and example with respect to how humans are to act, and a model toward which they are to strive. It is therefore not surprising to me that multiple such instances with respect to the Bible are found in the book of Psalms, which contains both commands to exalt God, as well as reasons why such exaltation is proper and should occur. Examples would include Psalm 34, Psalm 99, Psalm 107, and Psalm 118. Interestingly, there are also multiple warnings to individuals against exalting themselves, as well as an account (Isaiah 14:12-15) taken to be an allegorical reference to to Satan's original rebellion against God, in which (despite already being an exalted angelic being), he strove to further exalt himself by actually overthrowing God, for which he was cast out of heaven and became a complete antitype to God, and a continual adversary to both Him and His followers. Jesus also told His followers that the person who exalted himself would be humbled, while the person who humbled himself would be exalted (Matthew 23:1-12). Other Biblical references to exalting God can be found in Exodus 15:2 (after the saving of Israel by the miracuolous parting of the sea at the time of the exodus from Egypt, and the subsequent drowning of the pursuing Egyptians); 1 Samuel 2:10 (in the prayer of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, praising God for her pregnancy at an advanced age); and Isaiah 25:1 (where the prophet says that he will exalt God for the wonderful things that He has done).
When we look to the New Testament for guidance on how to exalt the Lord, we have many commandments and examples. Here are a few. 1) The Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) Every time we share the gospel with someone, telling them what Jesus has done for them, and what he has done for us, we exalt the Lord. 2) The Great Commandment (Matt 22:36-40) Every time we study the bible, pray, worship, serve and share our testimony, we are loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; that is exalting the Lord. Whenever we meet the needs of other people like Jesus did, making them more important than ourselves, we are loving our neighbour as ourselves; that is exalting the Lord. The Church (Acts 2:42-47) Every time we engage in the life and ministry of our local church we are exalting the Lord.
The Hebrew word, “Rum,” (exalt) found in both Psalm 99:5 and Isaiah 25:1 is used in the sense of be high, literal rock (in figurative) Psalm 61:3 or better, Psalm 61:2 (מִן compare); be (set on) high, רָ֑מּוּ Job 22:12 (of stars), especially participle, = adjective, in general Isaiah 2:12 (+ גֵּאֶה), of mountains Isaiah 2:14; Deuteronomy 12:2, hill Ezekiel 6:13; Ezekiel 20:28; Ezekiel 34:6, throne Isaiah 6:1, trees = tall Isaiah 2:13; Ezekiel 17:22. Rum (pronounced “room,” not “rum”) is used in what Hebrew grammarians call the Hithpo`lel stem. (That means it is intensive and reflexive.) Psalms 61:2 says “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” You have perhaps heard Isaiah 6:1 preached, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, HIGH and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Because God is so high (honorable, exalted) and sits on a high throne, and because He is a rock that is HIGHER than us, we should worship Him as His humble subjects. And not only because He is wonderful (Isa. 9:6) but also because He does “wonderful things”, (Isa. 25:1) we should praise Him accordingly. In Isaiah 25:1 we have Isaiah as an example for us to follow. Isaiah vows, “O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” See Hebrews 13:15 (ESV). “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
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