Psalm 34: 1-3

MONDAY

In this week’s devotion, I will attempt a look at one of the Psalms, specifically Psalm 34:1-10. The superscription of the Psalm tells us that it is a Psalm of David and was written when he pretended to be insane in front of the Philistine King, Abimelech. It was not one of David’s most glorious moments. You can read about this incident in 1 Samuel 21. You will notice that the 1 Samuel text does not use ‘Abimelech’ but Achish in naming the king. While Achish was the name of the king, many scholars believe ‘Abimelech’ is a traditional dynastic title and point to Genesis 20; 21: Gen 22-34 and Gen 26 as examples of its use as a title rather than a specific name. I tend to agree.

Psalm 34 is an acrostic Psalm meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet – just like Psalm 119.  This means that verse 1 begins with the Hebrew equivalent of the English letter ‘A’, the next verse begins with the equivalent to the letter ‘B’, etc.

There are eight stanzas with four major themes. Each theme is covered in two stanzas.  There is a ‘neat’ thematic break between verse 10 and 11 so we will look at the first 10 verses this week and break down the Psalm as follows: Monday verses 1-3, Tuesday verses 4-6, Wednesday verse 7, Thursday verse 8 and Friday verse 9 and 10.

NAU Psalm 34:1 A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.

NIV Psalm 34:1 Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left. I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.

KJV Psalm 34:1 <A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.> I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

 In this Psalm David demonstrates that the follower of God is ever ready to praise God whenever the Lord delivers them from trouble in answer to prayer. And these first three verses show a personal commitment to the continual praise of God as an encouragement to those who are afflicted to join in praise while they are in the midst of their affliction.

Godly leaders are not necessarily free from affliction. But godly leaders will lead others who are in affliction in the praise of God. They set the proper example (v1). The godly afflicted look past their affliction, which is temporary, to the foundation of their support  – the eternal God who is known as YHWH.  The godly who are afflicted encourage others (especially those who are also afflicted) to join with them in praising God (v2, 3).

We do not have to be ‘recognized’ leaders to set this kind of example. But we can be godly and lead by example of God’s praise whether we are afflicted or not.

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2 Responses to “Psalm 34: 1-3”


  1. 1 Saly June 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you for this…i truly appreciate it! May God continue to use you in extraordinary ways!


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