Whom do you love most in the world? Call to mind their face, their voice, and thank God for them – and, as much as you already love them today, ask him to help you love them more.
There is a wonderful diversity of people in this psalm – count up how many times it says ‘all’ and ‘the nations’. Does your church reflect something of this diversity?
Frequently in the Old Testament, God – or one of his prophets – reminds the people that they were chosen, not because they were particularly beautiful or special or righteous, but because God loved them (eg v 4; Deuteronomy 7.7-8). How frequently God’s people have shown themselves undeserving of that love!
One of my favourite hymns begins, ‘My song is love unknown ... love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be’ (Samuel Crossman, 1623–83). How deeply do you believe that truth? Do you try to prove yourself, to earn God’s love, to show yourself to be beautiful and deserving of his love? Can you accept that God doesn’t love people because they are beautiful, but makes people beautiful by loving them?
And he doesn’t only love people like us. In verse 9, who assembles to exalt God? Perhaps this is why God called Daniel to serve even proud and stubborn kings – for he loved them, too.
If God makes you beautiful by loving you, how can you, in a small but important way, love others in turn – even those not like you? Think of someone who doesn’t yet know God – how can you show them God’s love?