This psalm of David was written when he pretended to be insane before Abimelek , who drove him away and then David fled. Psalm 34 (in my mind) is divided into two basic sections. Verses 1-10 is a call for God’s people to praise and verses 11-22 focuses on teaching the people of God. Let’s break this down a little more into subsections. Verses 1-3 describe a life overflowing with praise and verses 4-7 give David’s testimony of being delivered by God. He then goes on (verses 8-10) to invite us to share in that joyful testimony. He urges us to live in the fear of the Lord (verses 11-14) and describes living under the watchful eye of the Lord (verses 15-16). God is the helper of the humble (verses 17-18) and shows His care for His righteous ones (verses 19-22).
Interpretation and Application:
I’d like to park a little bit on verses 4 and 6. David sought the Lord. He looked to Him in loving trust. God then heard him and delivered him from all his fears implying that the Lord heard him with love, sympathy, compassion and action. His fears could not be quelled unless God showed all those characteristics. If, for example, we as parents just listened to our children’s fears without showing genuine love and concern and didn’t follow through in some action to allay those fears, our children would still be fearful. Our Lord is always full of compassion and shows us mercy. If He didn’t, we wouldn’t have any confidence in our life situations. We need to believe that He has our best interests at heart and would never do anything to instill fear within us. “This poor man called and the Lord heard him” (verse 6). Some texts replace the word “called” with “cried”. A cry is usually short and not sweet, brief and bitter, and is the language of pain. Again, through this pain the Lord hears, answers and saves us from our troubles. In our desperation, God with love and compassion is there to walk beside us and guide us through those trials. It doesn’t always feel like it, but He promises us in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Thank you Lord, that You are always there in our desperation, fears, anxiety and troubles. We know that You are walking beside us and encouraging us to trust You for everything. Help us to rest in that knowledge. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This is a little unusual for a blog. The link below is from Southland Church in Steinbach and their Kid’s Church Online YouTube. My daughter Ruth is heavily involved in the kid’s ministry there and often teaches the memory verse. Start the video at around 20:00 minutes in. It ends around 22:18. I believe after you’ve listened to it a couple of times, you’ll have memorized Psalm 34:4,6!
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.