I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

‘If we hope to spend our eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend as much as may be of our time in this work.’ Matthew Henry.

It is clear that, for David, praise was a choice. He had decided to have a lifestyle of worship. Look at the repetition of the word “will”.

He is resolved and fixed, I will; he is personally and for himself determined, let others do as they may; he is intelligent in head and inflamed in heart—he knows to whom the praise is due, and what is due, and for what and when.” C.H.Spurgeon

God is always thoroughly deserving of our praise so His praise should “always” be on our lips. But we do not “at all times” feel like praising God, so we have to decide that we are going to do it. The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.’ But we have to commit ourselves to this great purpose for which we were made. In the ‘New Bible Commentary’, verses 1,2 are headed: ‘Commitment to ceaseless praise.’

The life-situation out of which this psalm was born is instructive. It was a difficult and dangerous time for David. He was an innocent man, on the run. We may question what he did when he pretended insanity before Abimelek, but he was clearly caught between ‘a rock and a hard place.’ He was being treated unjustly. Was that sad story to be included in the “at all times”? I believe David’s answer would be a loud and definite ‘Yes!’