Praise The Lord For His Goodness
1 Samuel 21:10 – 15; Psalm 56
David Flees from Saul
David’s growing reputation among the people as a warrior and leader incited Saul’s jealousy, and Saul began trying to kill David. David fled from Saul in Gibeah (1) and went to Samuel at Naioth in Ramah (2), but soon Saul sought him there, and David fled back to Jonathan in Gibeah (3). After Jonathan warned David of Saul’s determination to kill him, David fled to Ahimelech the priest at Nob (4), where he collected food and Goliath’s sword. David briefly sought refuge in the Philistine city of Gath where he pretended to be insane.
– This Psalm falls into two major sections – (1 – 10, Declared Praise; 11 – 22, Instruction and exhortation).
– This Psalm is both a “Praise” and “Wisdom” Psalm.
– This Psalm forms an “acrostic” – an alphabetical arrangement. It is considered a didactic (instructional) poem.
– The theme of the Psalm is best captured in 34:8, which says: “Oh taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
1. Join Me In Blessing The LORD, (34:1 – 3)
“Bless” means to speak a good word about someone. “Magnify” means to proclaim the greatness of that person.
– We are called upon to bless the Lord at all times in order to remember His greatness and His deeds toward us and to encourage other believers.
– My boast is in the LORD, not my own strength and abilities. “The humble” will understand this and be glad.
– Believers ought to praise and worship the Lord together.
– Telling the deeds of the LORD proclaims His greatness.
2. He Answered My Prayers, (34:4 – 7)
– “I sought the LORD.” “I cried out to Him in great distress, and He rescued me from what I feared.” This is earnest prayer.
– “They look (gaze intently) to the LORD.”
– Look to God and are radiant (joyful). Their hope is renewed; they experience no shame.
– “The poor” is any afflicted person who is (and recognizes that he is) without resources to effect his own deliverance – and so is dependent upon God alone.
– God hears the cries of His children and rescues them. He looks to the helpless. (Prayer does not need to be eloquent).
– To “fear the LORD” is to trust and obey Him, remaining loyal to Him.
– God promises His presence in all situations.
3. Therefore fear The LORD With Me, (34:8 – 14)
– “To taste” means to judge, experience, or determine for yourself. King David has experienced the goodness of God in a fearful and difficult time. He found Him faithful and desires others to find Him faithful also.
Verses 9 – 10
– God supplies for the needs of those who fear Him.
Verses 11 – 14
– Strong exhortation similar to what is found in The Book of Proverbs.
– Praise and worship are stated first in this Psalm. Then the Psalmist exhorts and instructs; both are so important to the congregation of believers.
4. The LORD Cares For Those Who Trust Him, (34:15 – 22)
– God sees and hears, He is attentive to His children’s prayers.
– Remember, some day the wicked that reject God’s profound grace will “be no more.”
Verse 17 – 18
– God delivers from troubles and He is near to the “broken hearted.”
“The heart represents the will … to be broken in the will means the fight is gone, all hopes and expectations are dashed, and the afflicted one is resigned to devastation. Parallel to that is the ‘crushed of spirit.’ ‘Broken’ and ‘crushed’ are figures (of comparison) that describe the person’s will and outlook on life as hopeless. People who are broken by circumstances are the very ones that God is near, for he delights to heal and restore those who cry to him from the most difficult situations” (A Commentary On The Psalms, by Allen P. Ross; Kregel Publications).
– God never promises that His children will have a “problem free” life. This world is often a dark valley, but the LORD is the great Deliverer.
– “He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” This is fulfilled in the ultimate “Righteous One.”
– Jesus was brutally beaten and put to death. The fact that His bones were not broken reveals the sovereign control of God, and a foreshadowing of things to come, namely the resurrection and vindication of Jesus.
– The righteous can have every expectation of surviving the difficulties of life unharmed.
– The LORD absolutely does “redeem the life of His servants.” Those who take refuge in Him will never know shame, condemnation, or be held guilty. Their “Redeemer” has borne and intercepted their guilt. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
“The troubles of life should not overwhelm the people of God, but through prayer they will be delivered out of them, and through praise they will instruct others to live by faith and experience the goodness of God” (A Commentary On The Psalms, by Allen P. Ross; Kregel Publications).