Psalm 34:11-22 - David Teaches Us To Fear The LORD
David begins this psalm with these words, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad” (v. 1-2)
These opening verses are a thesis statement as to what is in the rest of this psalm. There are two things happening in this psalm.
First, the immediate reason or David’s praise was because the LORD had been delivered David from all of his troubles (4-6).
Secondly, when David says ‘my soul makes its boast in the LORD’, he reveals that his praise comes from a heart that fears the LORD (7,9). In other words, David praises the LORD because of more than just the circumstances that have been in his favor.
David wants to worship the LORD with other people so in Psalm 34:3 David says, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”
It seems like there could have been a couple of reactions to David’s invitation to praise the LORD.
First, there were probably those who immediately joined in with David as he praised the LORD. Their hearts immediately engaged at the opportunity to magnify the LORD on this occasion.
Secondly, there may have been some who looked at David in bewilderment. These people were hard pressed, impoverished, angry and bitter. Their hearts were heavy due to their circumstances. Therefore, they may not initially have shared in David’s enthusiasm for worship in this moment.
David will teach all of these people some important lessons concerning seeking after God and trusting in Him.
In Psalm 34: 4-7 David wants to testify about what the LORD has done for him. David tells them how the LORD had saved him from all of his troubles and delivered him from all of his fears.
In Psalm 34:6 David refers to himself as a poor man. He says, “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all of his troubles.” David wasn’t always poor.
Until recently he had been a trusted military commander.
He had a seat reserved for him at the kings table.
David’s best friend, Jonathan, was the kings son.
Now, however, he is running for his life. He has no food or weapons. He is now a poor man who has been humbled by all of these things.
The LORD will hear this poor man’s prayer and save him from all of his troubles (6). Isn’t this a testimony to the grace of God. God hears the prayer of are poor those who are poor and needy. His saints who are not wise in this world, who are not powerful and who are not noble by birth, but He hears their prayer (1 Cor. 1:26).
We ought to be encouraged that God will hear our prayers. He listens, not because of some merit in us, but because of His steadfast love, mercy and the grace.
We learned last week in 1 Samuel 21:14-15 that Abimilech, the king of Gath, kicked David out of his city because he did not want to be around anymore madmen. We read, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
Abimelech was too proud to be in the presence of a lowly and poor madman. But Psalm 34 reminds us that the LORD is near to His people and He is quick to hear their prayers. David encourages these people by saying...
Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”
Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
After sharing his testimony with these people David again invites them to draw close to the LORD and to taste and see that the LORD is good(8). David wants them to worship with the same heart that is compelling him to worship the LORD; so he admonishes them to fear the LORD.
In Psalm 34:8-10 David says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those w