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.
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. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. 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.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD redeems his servants; no-one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
God looks after His servants
(Verses 1-3) David, fleeing from King Saul, came before Achish, the Philistine ruler of Gath. (‘Abimelech’ means ruler). He knew of David’s slaying of Goliath of Gath and his amazing success rate in his battles with Philistine armies. To escape, David feigned madness. But he starts Psalm 34 by praise for God, urging others to rejoice, glorify God, and exalt His name together. Never let work or success stop you praising God.
(Verses 4-7) David may have his escapes from enemies in mind, from the Philistines or from Saul, as he gratefully recalls how he asked God to deliver him, and He did. God saved him from his troubles in answer to his prayer. God will answer your prayer too. David values godly fear for the LORD, and God’s surrounding and delivering him. Answered prayer starts by asking Jesus to forgive and save you. That is why He died in your place on the cross to bear your sins and their penalty. Call on Him to save you.
(Verses 8-10) What a wonderful invitation God gives! ‘Taste and see that the LORD is good.’ God blesses all who take refuge in Him. He promises no lack of His supply to any who fear and seek Him. Is that you?
(Verses 11-16) We have discussed ‘the fear of the LORD’ – a reverent regard for God’s awesome holiness. How can you cultivate it and so love ‘many days’ and ‘see good’? Refrain from evil speech and lies. ‘Turn from evil and do good.’ Seek and work for peace. Recognise that God is always watching and listening for your cry if you trust Him. Note that God is against evildoers both now and after death.
(Verses 17-22) See how God looks after those who trust, obey, follow and fear Him. This is so now for those who yield their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to please, serve and make Him known to others. When you cry out to Him, He hears and delivers you from all your troubles. He is close to you if your heart is breaking. He saves you when you feel crushed in spirit. He protects you even physically. Unlike unbelievers wanting to stay wicked, as His servant, you are redeemed and will never be condemned. He is your Refuge! (Verse 20 also predicts Jesus’ crucifixion.)