Psalms 34

Psalm 34

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

34   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.
  Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!
  I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
  Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
  The angel of the LORD encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
  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 who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
  Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
  What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
  Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
  Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
  The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
  The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
  When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.
  Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
  He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
  Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
  The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.


Psalm 34 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Many people do not realize that the Psalms were written with a specific poetic order and structure. That evidence is lost in our modern translation. Going back to the Hebrew, we are able to appreciate the various writing styles demonstrated by the psalmists. As you can imagine, there is an effect that is lost by ignoring the poetic aspects of the psalms and just taking them in as plain words.

Psalm 34 is known as one of the alphabetic psalms. It is one of nine found in the entire book. It is an acrostic which means that the first line of each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Some of this gets into geeky Bible stuff but the point being, the psalm would have sounded much different in the original text being sung as a worship song. If you really want to explore how amazingly this psalm was written according to the structure of the Hebrew language, you can visit this “basics of the Bible” website.

The psalm here is thought to be the experience of David after escaping Abimelech (1 Sam 21). This experience was a severe threat to David’s life. In order to escape Gath, he pretended to be insane.

“Afterward, the one who had appeared to be a “fool” wrote this psalm of wisdom and praise in honor of the Lord.”

Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary

The evil that David experienced was directly opposed to God because it sought to silence truth and destroy a faithful follower.

“He will not only destroy the wicked, but he will blot out the very memory of them. They may become great and famous in their wickedness, but they shall not be kept in memory, as the righteous are. As Solomon says, “The name of the wicked shall rot.””

Charles Spurgeon

The name of the wicked shall rot. Where do you need to be reminded of this? Though it seems that injustice and evil are tolerated for a moment, it is only by the grace of God that they are able to exist. One day all evil will be swept away. Not only will their existence be demolished, but the lingering memories and experiences will also be swept away for eternity!

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