Magnifying Glass

God is infinite.

He is everywhere. He is everything. He is the “alpha and omega,” — the Greek way of saying he is the A and the Z, the beginning and the end. He is as big as big gets, of incomprehensible infinity.

So this is the question I’ve been tossing around since last night:

How do we magnify God?

It might seem like an odd question, but worship lyrics are full of “magnify the Lord” lines. One of Shelly’s and my favorite songs at the moment has a chorus that starts, “Oh, my soul, magnify…”

It’s not like artists are making up the term. It appears sprinkled throughout Scripture as a command and a response to God. David started the tradition of songs that included that phrase way back thousands of years before Jesus when he wrote in Psalm 34, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me // And let us exalt his name together.”

But how do we magnify God?

How do we make larger something (or someone) that is already infinite?

The NIV translation of the Bible attempts to deal with this by just changing all the “magnifies” to “glorify.” But that doesn’t really help anything, since the Hebrew word used throughout literally means, “To cause to grow, to make powerful, to magnify.”

Um… last I checked, we can’t make God grow. Or make him more powerful (kind of inherent in the definition of “all-powerful”).

So what in the world does it mean to magnify God?

Does it mean to just bring attention to God? Doesn’t that explanation seem to lose a little oomph? Couldn’t there have been a better word to use than “magnify” if that was the case?

God told Abraham that he would magnify Abraham. I get that – God makes Abraham mroe powerful and grows his family. The writer of Genesis says the twins Jacob and Esau were magnified as they became men. That makes sense, in that they physically grew larger. Samuel and Moses and dozens of other kids are described the same way.

But those things don’t seem to apply to God. So what does it mean to magnify God? That’s what I’m trying to process this morning. Help me out. Let’s discuss and process together.

One thought on “Magnifying Glass

  1. We always have room to grow who God is "to us." though HE can't become bigger we may not recognize the scope of who he really is so there's always room for that. Just a thought

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