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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 34

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-22

  1. Intro:
    1. Remember when David had a changed behavior but a fixed heart? (1 Sa.21:10-15)
    2. Fear of Saul temporarily replaced faith in the Lord. Fear is always the enemy of Faith.
      1. So David flees 23 miles to the enemy city of Gath.
      2. Should be safe from Saul in Philistine area & maybe from friends back home.
      3. But Fear is always the enemy of Faith. To believe God, to rest in the Word, to enjoy the promises of God is to conquer our fear.
        1. No wonder when fear comes in the door...faith flies out the window.
      4. Here we have a good man in bad company. Why did he go here? We hate to admit it but sometimes a persecuted Christian gets better treatment from the enemies of God’s people than from his own Christian friends.
        1. It was the king of Judah who imprisoned Jeremiah & the king of Babylon who set him free.
        2. We glory in our wonderful gospel of love & mercy for the unsaved, but we usually act as if we have no gospel for the saint who has been tripped by the devil! (Alan Redpath; The Making of the Man of God; pg.72)
    3. (11) David the king - Some King? He had no country, no queen, no subjects, no friends.
      1. All he had left was his self-respect...well, until that was stripped away also when he faked insanity.
        1. What an undignified moment in the life of a man who had been anointed by the spirit of God. How utterly unworthy of his calling was his behavior.
        2. But, we can probably all think of a time where we panicked in God’s will & found ourselves acting like a complete fool. From national hero to madman.
    4. From pats on the back, to looking over his back, because of the fear of getting stabbed in the back. Israel’s Most Wanted!
      1. Now his enemies discarded him. Would God also abandon him?
      2. It’s easy to lose 20-20 spiritual vision. Its easy to develop a spiritual squint, to see things in the wrong perspective, & to start to panic.
    5. But I’m glad the bible turns the key & opens the door to the inner shrine of this man’s life & shows us...a changed behavior yes, but a fixed heart on God. (we’ll see in Ps.34)
      1. ​​​​​​​Don’t just dismiss David as another casualty. We might be finished with him…but God sure wasn’t.
      2. Whatever happened to David in Gath caused him to acknowledge the inadequacies of his own wisdom & brought him to a place where he again placed his confidence in the Lord.
        1. Let’s remember, It takes a moment to make a convert; it takes a lifetime to manufacture a saint.
      3. Ps.56 was his prayer for God’s help. Ps.34 was his hymn of praise.
      4. Ps.34 also shares that he did alot of praying while in Gath. See 34:4,6,15b,17,18.
        1. He learned that the fear of the Lord conquers every other fear.
    6. Psalm 34 INTRO: It’s an acrostic. It’s a page from David’s diary. It’s David’s lesson on trying to find protection in his enemy. It’s David’s personal testimony of what God did for him when he found his heart crushed
    7. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Title: Taste and See that the Lord is Good
      1. ​​​​​​​Outline: I Will Bless. I Will Teach.
  2. I WILL BLESS (1-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​(1) Easier said than done. Really, bless him at all times. [why I did intro, this isn’t king David lounging on his king size fluffy bed in his palace]
      1. If we’re to praise Him at all times...it must be important.
        1. But how, when you feel weak, or your body is racked w/pain, circumstances are difficult, watching a close friend go through a hard time?
      2. Yet, it’s what Jesus did before he went to Calvary...He sang, Mt.26:30.
    2. Yet, it’s what Paul & Silas did in prison when their bodies hurt. Acts16:25
    3. Praise magnifies the Lord (3) that’s why we should do it at all times.
  3. (6) He calls himself, This poor man - just then he was. He just had to beg bread & borrow a sword.
  4. (6-8) The Lord saves (6) keeps (7) & satisfies (8).
    1. Saves - us not from troubles, but out of. Big difference.
    2. Keeps - Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
    3. Satisfies - some of the experiences of life tastes sour. Sometimes the cup handed to us is not one of sweetness but of bitterness. Jesus had to drink a bitter cup.
      1. Do you know what makes the bitter cup satisfying & sweet? It’s tasting the Lord in it. When you taste the Lord in the experiences of life, they becomes sweet in Him.
      2. Note: not taste & see if the Lord is good...but that He is!
    4. An atheist was lecturing on the unreasonableness of salvation just by believing on Jesus. He then invited anyone with a question to come the platform. Immediately a man, who before his conversion had been a notorious drunkard in the town, stepped up. W/o asking a question he coolly and quietly peeled an orange and slowly began to eat it. The exasperated atheist lecturer thundered out, “Man, stop your acting foolish and tell me your question!” The man finished his orange and looking him straight in the eye said, “Tell me, was this orange sweet or sour?” “How should I know?” said the atheist. “I never tasted it.” “Then stop criticizing the gospel until you too have tasted it. I have tasted it and know that it is the power of God which is able to transform a hell-bound drunkard into a saint.” And pointing to his town’s folk he concluded, “And those can testify what it has done for me. Don’t find fault with something you never tasted. Meeting adjourned!”
      1. An atheist cannot find God for the same reason that a thief cannot find a policeman. Taste & see that the Lord IS Good!
  5. I WILL TEACH (11-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​(12-15) Vs.13-15 seem to give 4 answers to the question in vs.12.
      1. Control your tongue (13).
      2. Depart from evil & do good (14a) - sow the seeds of goodness, you’ll reap the fruit of goodness.
      3. Seek peace & pursue it (14b) don’t walk around w/a revolver in your hand.
      4. Trust the Lord because He’s watching you & His ears are open to their cry (15)
        1. His ears are open to their cry - open means attentive to. He’s both watching you & He’s listening to you.
    2. (17,18) Is your heart hurting? Heartbroken, broken heart, heartache? We’ve all encountered...dashed hopes, smashed plans, a crushing experience.
      1. Maybe you feel like a bird with a broken wing, an animal w/a broken leg, a woman w/a broken heart, a man w/a broken purpose.
        1. You may hide from man, but the great Lover of man meets you there.
        2. He comes. He sits. He waits. Brokenness attracts God.
        3. It’s dark, you think you’re deserted, but it’s not so...God is there. God is near.
        4. Call to Him...a whisper will bring His response.
      2. Good news...Jesus was sent to heal the broken hearted. Lk.4:18
      3. What’s the secret? Give the Lord all the pieces & He will heal you.
    3. (22) Trust in Him...for what?
      1. Trust in the Lord with your frustrations (17). Trouble = to be in a bind, frustrated.
        1. Sometimes we bring trouble on ourselves, as David did here.
        2. Sometimes other people cause our trouble, as Saul did for David.
        3. Sometimes we have troubles because God knows we need them.
          1. We need to pray for His help & trust the Lord with your frustrations.
      2. Trust in the Lord with your feelings (18). David was repenting because of his sin & his heart was broken. God respects that attitude of heart.
    4. Trust in the Lord with your future (20). Guard = to exercise great care over, to protect.
      1. When Jesus was on the cross, the devil was doing his worse, yet he could only do what God permitted. (couldn’t break His bones).
      2. God was guarding His own Son, & He will guard us.
    5. Trust in the Lord with your foes (21). Their own sin will slay them. Give your enemies to the Lord. Let Him be their judge.
    6. ​​​​​​​Trust in the Lord with your failures (22). Condemned=to be held guilty
      1. David sinned against the Lord (the cause of his broken heart) but God rescued & forgave him.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 34". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-34.html. 2017.
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