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FRAMEWORKS: Psalm 34: Praise to the Deliverer


Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.


[Preliminary Comments: A psalm of David rooted in history – see 1 Sam 21:10-15. Achish was the Philistine king who sent David away when he feigned madness. Abimelek means ‘father of the king' and may have been the Philistine behind the scenes. Otherwise this is unclear. There appears no reference in the psalm to the historical context. David's attitude towards God is one of praise [v.1-3] because the Lord came to his aid in a crisis [v.4-6]. All that follows is then teaching based on this knowledge:

•  The Lord protects those who fear Him [v.7-9]

•  Those who seek the Lord are wise [v.10,11]

•  Those who seek righteousness are wise [v.12-14]

•  The Lord protects the needy righteous [v.15-17]

•  The Lord protects the brokenhearted [v.18-20]

•  The Lord protects His people [v.21,22]

Each of these descriptions is what David feels in this historical context.]



Part 1: v.1-6 Praise & Testimony


v.1-3 David's determination to extol, praise, and glorify the Lord


v.1  I will extol the Lord at all times;
     his praise will always be on my lips.
v.2  I will glory in the Lord;
     let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
v.3  Glorify the Lord with me;
     let us exalt his name together.


v.4-6 His reasons? The Lord delivers those who turn to Him


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


Part 2: v.7-22: Teaching that follows


v.7-9 The Lord protects, delivers, blesses & provides for those who honour Him


v.7  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
     and he delivers them

v.8  Taste and see that the Lord is good;
     blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
v.9  Fear the Lord , you his holy people,
     for those who fear him lack nothing.

v.10,11 Wisdom is found in seeking the Lord


v.10  The lions may grow weak and hungry,
     but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
v.11  Come, my children, listen to me;
     I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

v.12-14 Wisdom is found in seeking to be righteous


v.12  Whoever of you loves life
     and desires to see many good days,
v.13  keep your tongue from evil
     and your lips from telling lies.
v.14  Turn from evil and do good;
     seek peace and pursue it.


v.15-17 The Lord may reject the unrighteous but he watches & guards the righteous


v.15  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
     and his ears are attentive to their cry;
v.16  but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
     to blot out their name from the earth.

v.17  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
     he delivers them from all their troubles.

v.18-20 The Lord is there to protect those who are down


v.18  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
     and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

v.19  The righteous person may have many troubles,
     but the Lord delivers him from them all;
v.20  he protects all his bones,
     not one of them will be broken.


v.21.22 The wicked will fall to evil but God will rescue His people


v.21  Evil will slay the wicked;
     the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
v.22  The Lord will rescue his servants;
     no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.



[Additional Thoughts: The deliverance, provision, and protection of the Lord for His people is at the heart of this psalm. It comes as an expression of David's praise for the Lord having saved and delivered him. This may be expressing the sense of relief he must have felt when he first escaped from Saul and then from the Philistines who he had turned to.]



Continue to Psa 35