Monday, August 19, 2013

Ps 34

Ps 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
:2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.
:3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
:4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.
:6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
:7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
:9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
:10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
:12 Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?
:13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deeit.
:14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
:15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.
:16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
:20 He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.
:21 Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

The heading in my bible for this one says: The happiness of those who trust in God

The first 10 verses are a song of thanksgiving to God. The last 12 are words of wise instruction. It is marked by a sense of relief and gratitude to God for a miraculous escape from danger, but we also learn what it means to trust God in our daily lives.

The Hebrew word bless in verse one comes from the word for knee. Literally it means to bend the knee. David was saying that in every situation, as frightening, difficult, painful, or joyous it might be, he would bend his knee before the Lord. He would submit to God's authority. He would accept these circumstances as part of God's right to rule in his life. The key to this psalm and to lowering stress in our lives is the realization that the Lord is present in every situation of life. He has not abandoned us. We are not limited to our own resources. A God of compassion and grace goes through the situation with us.

Half way through the psalm David goes from praising God to teaching those around him. Verses 11-22 almost read like proverbs. Short, wise sayings to help us live honorably before the Lord.  

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