Psalm 34

1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory 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 one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
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 telling 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 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name 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 brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person 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 will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

There are so many good things within this Psalm. I think of the ones I have talk about thus far, this one is my favorite. I don’t even know where to start.

The second verse, “I will glory in the Lord, let the afflicted hear and rejoice.” What a beautiful thing. What if all of those who were going through good times, celebrations, and victories always took joy in the Lord and praised him out loud for all to hear. Would that not help give strength to those who were struggling? Hearing and watching others rejoice in the Lord and praise Him, regardless of whatever crap I’m going through, always uplifts my spirit, even if it is just the smallest bit. I’ve also found that there is something so healing in singing praise to God even when it is the LAST thing we want to be doing. When we are angry at God, if in that moment we still force ourselves, as if it is a discipline, to praise Him, there is something that happens within us.

Then verse three, Let us exalt the Lord together! This is something that we do as a community, as a people, as a body. Those of us who are are struggling can hear the praises of those os us who are celebrating and be strengthened. We are there for each other, regardless of circumstance and together we glorify the Lord!

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, His people. When they cry out, He hears them and He is attentive to their cry. God is CLOSE to the brokenhearted. We do not worship a far off, distant God, but God is close to us in our brokenheartedness. And from that brokenheartedness he will save us.

And here is another one of my favorite parts: The rigteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Yes. We are not invincible and we will indeed go through many things that are not exactly rainbows and butterflies, but God is still Good. There is temptation in the second part of that verse to think that God will save us from the midst of those trials, but I don’t think that that is what the psalmist means by it at all. God delivers us from all things not here, but when He brings His kingdom. While yes, God may deliver us out of that suffering here and now, it does not guarantee a life without suffering, indeed that is what the first half says. So it seems that the two halves contradict each other, but I think that it shows God’s sovereignty over all, even through suffering.

Come, bless the LORD O my soul, I will extol the LORD at all times, His praise will be always on my lips.


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