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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 34

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The First Book of Psalms (c 1-41)
Message: God Pays Attention to Those Who Call Upon Him (v 1-22)

Psalms 34 Commentary

(34:1-22) Blessings of God - God promises great blessings to his people, but many of these blessings require active participation from us. He will set us free from fear (34:4, 6), deliver us from shame (34:5), guard and defend us (34:7), show us his goodness (34:8), supply what we need (34:9), listen when we talk to him (34:15), and redeem us (34:22), but we must do our part. We can appropriate his blessings when we seek him (34:4,10); cry out to him (34:6,17); trust in him (34:8); fear him (34:7, 9); refrain from lying (3413); turn from evil, do good, and seek peace (34:14); are brokenhearted and humble (34:8); and serve him (34:22). 34:8 "Taste and see" does not mean "Check out God's credentials." Instead, it is a warm invitation: "Try this; I know youll like it." When we take that first step toward getting to know God, we discover that he is good and kind. When we begin the Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. This will be the case until we meet God face-to-face, but as we invite the Holy Spirit to help us, study the Bible, and get to know other Christians, we begin to have the joy of tasting and experiencing God's love. 

(34:9-10) Praising God - At first, we may question David's statement because we seem to lack many good things. This is not a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want. Instead, this is David's praise for God's goodness- -all those who call upon God in their state of need will be answered, sometimes in unexpected ways. Remember, God knows what we need, and our deepest needs are spiritual. Even though many Christians face unbearable poverty and hardship, they still have enough spiritual nourishment to live for God. David was saying that if you have God, you have all you really need. God is enough. If you feel you don't have everything you need, ask yourself these questions: (1) Is what I desire really a need? (2) Is it really good for me? (3) Is this the best time for me to have it? Even if you answer yes to all three questions, God may allow you to go without what you desire in order to help you grow more dependent on him. He may want you to learn that you need him more than having your immediate desires met. 34:9 You say you belong to the Lord, but do you fear him? To fear the Lord means to show him deep respect, reverence, and honor. We demonstrate this attitude by humility and genuine worship. Abraham (Genesis 17:2-4), Moses (Exodus 3:5-6), and the Israelites (Exodus 19:16-24) all showed this kind of fear of the Lord. 

(34:11) Fearing God - The Bible often connects the fear of the Lord (love and reverence for him) with obedience. "Fear God, and keep his commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13); "If a man love me, he will keep my words" (John 14:23). David said that a person who fears the Lord doesn't lie, turns from evil, does good, and promotes peace. Reverence includes so much more than sitting quietly in church. It means obeying God in the way we speak and how we treat others. 

(34:14) Pursuing Peace - Some may think that peace should come with no effort. But David said that we should work hard in our pursuit of peace. Paul echoed this thought in Romans 12:18. A person who wants peace cannot be argumentative or contentious. Because peaceful relationships come from our intentional efforts at peacemaking, work hard at reconciling relationships and living in peace with others each day 

(34:18-19) Seeking the Lord - We often wish we could escape troubles- the pain of grief, loss, sorrow, and failure, or even the small daily frustrations that constantly wear us down. God promises to be "nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, to be our source of power, courage, and wisdom, helping us through our problems. Sometimes he chooses to deliver us from those problems. When trouble strikes, don't get frustrated with God. Instead, admit that you need his help and thank him for being by your side. 34:20 This is considered a prophecy about Jesus when he was crucified. Although it was the Roman custom to break the legs of a victim to speed death, not one of Jesus' bones was broken (John 19:32-37). In addition to the prophetic meaning, there was an immediate meaning for David--he was pleading for God's protection in times of crisis.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

He is Listening

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Psalm with Chapter 34. In our text today we see a theme of how God pays attention to those who call on Him and hears our Prayers. In making application we see that when we are in trouble, need, or trail -  the God of the Universe is listening. He listens and acts according to His Will. Knowing this we can rest in His Knowledge. We don't have to figure every thing out but simply trust and obey for He is in control. How about you? Do you understand that God knows and listens to our Prayers? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that the Lord is listening, He is in control, and He loves us and cares for all of our needs so we can rest in Him. 


Psalm 34

Psalm 34

 1I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 2My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

 3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

 4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

 6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

 7The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

 8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

 9O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

 10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

 11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

 12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

 13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

 14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

 15The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

 16The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

 17The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

 18The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

 19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

 20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

 21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

 22The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.