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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 34

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Psalms 34:1-22

Psalms 34:1-22 is a psalm of David when he, it says, "changed his behavior, before Abimelech." Actually, it is probably the case of when he had gone down and Abimelech or Achish the king who drove him away and departed. Now David, when he was fleeing from Saul, Saul was trying to kill him, he fled into the land of the Philistines and he was brought to the Philistine king, Achish. And suddenly David thought, "Hey, here I am, and the Philistines hate me," because he had killed Goliath, and he had been the champion of the Israelites in many battles against the Philistines. So much so that the ladies would come out in their dances and they would sing, "Saul has killed his thousands, David, his tens of thousands." "And so, here I am now in the land of the Philistines and here I am surrounded by the king and all of his army and everything else." And David thought, "Man, what if the king gets angry and orders me wiped out? I am a dead man." So David began to act like he was crazy, and of course, he was a character and I love him.

We used to do some many dumb stupid things when we kids, to get reaction from people, and all, you know, the charades and everything else that you go through. And so David just started slobbering all over his beard. And when he was brought in before King Achish, here he was slobbering all over, and he went over and scrabbled on the walls. Just started scratching on the walls and trying to climb the walls and everything else, and the king said, "What do you bring a madman to me for? Get him out of here." And so David escaped from Achish by this little ruse of feigning insanity. And so when he got out of it, when he was delivered, he wrote this psalm. And so that is the background after he is out there, and he is probably laughing, you know, and saying, "Wasn't that funny? Did you see me trying to climb the walls?" But the ruse worked at least, and he was able to escape. And he says,

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. For I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from my fears ( Psalms 34:1-4 ).

Now, David is pointing out that this action of pretending to be a madman was prompted by fear, "He delivered me out of all of my fears." Now in the book of Proverbs, it says, "The fear of man bringeth a snare." Now here David was afraid of King Achish, but look what it did to him. It reduced him to a slobbering idiot. The fear of man can reduce you. "The fear of man is a snare, but whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe" ( Proverbs 29:25 ). But David is calling upon the people, "O magnify the Lord with me." The praising of the Lord by His people.

They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that reverence him, and delivers them ( Psalms 34:5-7 ).

Now the Bible says that, "He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways, to bear thee up lest at any time you should dash your foot against a stone" ( Psalms 91:11-12 ). In the New Testament in the book of Hebrews we are told concerning angels that they are ministering spirits who have been sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation. So you hear of your guardian angel. "For the angel of the Lord, encamps round about them that reverence Him, and He delivers them." So there is the opinion that we, each of us, have sort of a guardian angel that sort of watches over us. They are ministering spirits who have been sent forth to minister to us, who are the heirs of salvation.

Now I plan to have a few words with my angel when I get to heaven. I want to know where he was on a few occasions. And on the other hand, I want to thank him, for I will tell you, so many times I have been delivered, I know, only by divine providence. God's divine hand upon my life is the only... I don't know how I got out of it. To this day I don't know how, and yet God's glorious hand, the angel of the Lord. I had a very interesting experience with my angel many years ago while in high school, and I know that the angel of the Lord was with me, and protected me, and kept me, and it was a very unique and fascinating experience. I look back upon it with great gratitude, for God's protecting hand.

O taste and see that the LORD is good ( Psalms 34:8 ):

You have to experience it. I can stand here and tell you all day how good God is, but you've got to experience it for yourself. I could be eating one of those drumsticks from Swenson's up here, and I could tell you how delicious that chocolate with the almonds imbedded in it, how creamy the ice cream, and I could just go on telling you, "Man, this is just delicious," and eat it right there in front of you. But you're not going to know how delicious it is until I say, "Here, take a bite. Taste and see!" I can stand here and tell you how good God is, but you've got to really experience for yourself to really know. "O taste and see that the Lord is good."

blessed is the man who trusts in him. Reverence the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them who reverence him. The young lions do lack, they suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD will not want for any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I'm gonna teach you what it is to reverence the LORD. What man is he that desires life, and loves many days, that he might see good? ( Psalms 34:8-12 )

What man is there that doesn't want to just live a long, good life? All right, here is the rule.

Keep thy tongue from evil, thy lips from speaking deceitfully. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry ( Psalms 34:13-15 ).

"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears are open unto their cry." In the fifty-ninth chapter of Isaiah we read, "The arm of the Lord is not short that He cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from your God." But to the righteous His ear is open to their cry. "The eye of the Lord is upon the righteous, His ear is open to their cry."

The face of the LORD is against those that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all of their troubles. The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit ( Psalms 34:16-18 ).

So you that are broken hearted, God is so near.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous ( Psalms 34:19 ):

God doesn't promise you divine immunity from trouble. God doesn't promise that you are not going to have any problems. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous,"

but the LORD delivereth him out of them all ( Psalms 34:19 ).

Now, many are the afflictions of the wicked, but you have to stop there. I don't care if you are righteous or wicked; you are going to have problems. There are going to be troubles in life. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; many are the afflictions of the wicked. You say, "Then what is the difference between a wicked man and a righteous man? Why, then, be righteous?" Because for the righteous the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

He keepeth all of his bones: not one of them is broken ( Psalms 34:20 ).

Now this is a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. It is referred to in the New Testament as a prophecy concerning Christ when they decided to hasten the death of the prisoners as they were hanging there upon the crosses. They asked permission to break their legs in order to hasten their deaths. And so they broke the legs of the two thieves that were crucified beside Jesus, and when the soldier came to break His legs, they found that He was already dead. And so rather than breaking His leg, he took his spear just to make sure, and thrust it into Jesus' side, the area of the heart, and there came out the blood and the water. Signifying death by heart rupture. But they didn't break His bones in order that the scripture might be fulfilled which declared, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken." That is this psalm referring to Jesus Christ.

Now, you see, Jesus was a sacrifice for us. He was a sacrificial lamb, if you please. When John the Baptist introduced Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world!" ( John 1:29 ) And we are redeemed, Peter said, "Not with corruptible things such as silver and gold from our former empty life, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ who was slain as a lamb without spot or without blemish" ( 1 Peter 1:18-19 ). So as a sacrificial lamb there was one requirement for the lamb that was offered for sacrifice--it could not have any bones broken. And so the prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus, being the sacrificial lamb, not a bone of Him was broken.

Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate righteousness shall be desolate. The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate ( Psalms 34:21-22 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 34". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-34.html. 2014.
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