Archive for the 'Psalm 34' Category

Psalm 34:9, 10

FRIDAY

NAU Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. 10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.

NIV Psalm 34:9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

KJV Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

There’s that word again – FEAR the LORD! ‘Yirah’ makes another appearance! Those who fear the LORD are reminded (commanded) to keep their focus – not on their circumstances but on the LORD! The inexperienced (i.e. the young lions) lose their focus and put it on their circumstances rather than the LORD. When they lose their focus they experience suffering. But when they have a proper focus (verse 10) they do not lack His care and attention.

Are you afflicted? Keep your focus on the LORD. He promises protection for those who fear/reverence Him. When this focus is maintained they will experience the fullness of the LORD’s protection.

Advertisements

Psalm 34:8

THURSDAY

NAU Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

NIV Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

KJV Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.


In the previous seven verses there have been six declarations and one directive. That one directive came in verse three as a directive to glorify and exalt the Lord. These are actions of the mouth. They are directive to speak positively about our God, the One who protects and comes to the aid of the afflicted.

Verse 8 is also a directive. It also involves (figuratively) the mouth. But this time rather than speaking, the afflicted but fearer of God is to ‘taste’ Him. This word is associated with food and eating. However, it is also associated with the concept of experiencing something.

How can the fearer of God ‘taste’ or experience Him? The end of verse 8 gives us the answer – take refuge in the Lord. Again, we must ask what does it mean to take refuge in the Lord? The Hebrew language provides the answer – flee to Him for protection!

But wait, verse 7 tells us that the Angel of the Lord surrounds those who fear Him and provides protection in affliction! How can we take refuge if we are already being protected? Interestingly, further study of this Hebrew word shows that taking refuge can also be translated to trust. Therefore, verse 7 and 8 are telling us that those who fear the Lord are protected by the Lord and that we should trust in His protection.

Psalm 34:7

WEDNESDAY

NAU Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.

NIV Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

KJV Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Those who are afflicted have supernatural protection – none other than the Angel of the Lord is their protector. When it says that He encamps around the afflicted, the Hebrew tells us that He is surrounding or encircling them. God is never far from those in need. He is overseeing their welfare – even when we feel alone and abandoned in our troubles.

But not only does the Angel of the Lord surround the afflicted, He delivers them from their troubles. It does not say when He delivers, only that He is there surrounding them and coming at the most opportune time to their rescue.

And one more thought. This is a confidence that is limited only to those who follow the truth about God. While earlier the Psalm’s statements are directed in general to those who are afflicted, verse 7 gives us a qualifier – those who fear! Do you remember a few months back when we looked at the Fear of the Lord? The Hebrew word meant one who is afraid and who reverences. That Hebrew word is used here. Only those who follow God in truth are those who truly fear Him.

This verse shows the care and concern that God has for His people. It is a verse of comfort in the midst of distressing times.

Psalm 34:4-6

TUESDAY 

NAU Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.

NIV Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.

KJV Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

The humble man seeks the Lord, ESPECIALLY when he is in desperate need.  Many times in America, when we come up against difficult times, we redouble our efforts being guided by the axiom – ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves’. I have heard this cited as a Proverb but have searched the Bible in vain to find it referenced as revelation from God.

When we seek the Lord when afflicted, He comes to our aid. In verse 4 He hears our cry and delivers us from our fears – something we cannot do especially in our hour of deepest need. In verse 5, those who seek the Lord when afflicted are never ashamed and are even expressing joy in the knowledge of God’s care for them.  In verse 6, when the afflicted cry out to the Lord, He hears them and saves them from their affliction.

We seek, we cry. God hears and God saves. Rather than being left on our own, God desires humble dependence upon Him.

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.