Psalms 1 - 50by Mike Raiter
One of the encouraging features of singing is that it is one of the few things we can all do together as a church. God's Word is proclaimed by the preacher. Normally, someone leads the church in prayer. But singing is one dimension of public worship in which we all participate. In Paul's words, we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16).
In the heading for Psalm 34 we are told that David composed this song after he pretended to be mad, and so escaped from the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1). While on the run from Saul, David took refuge in a Philistine city, feigning insanity so they wouldn't kill him. While this clever subterfuge was successful, David recognised that God was his true deliverer.
We, too, can testify to times when the Lord has come to our help. So, David invites us to sing with him: ″Let us exalt his name together″ (Psalm 34:3). It's a joyful, confident assertion that ″the Lord will rescue his servants″ (v. 22). This is the main theme of the song.
In 1 Peter we see again how important the Psalms were to the writers of the New Testament. Citing Psalm 34:8-″Taste and see that the Lord is good″-Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 2:3 that we have come to know salvation through God's Word that's been preached to us. He encourages us to mature as disciples by craving the milk of God's Word (v. 2) as we express our salvation in the way we live (v. 1). Psalm 34 makes the same point: God has been good to us in saving us, so we respond to His kindness by turning from evil and doing good (v. 14).
Psalm 34 also contains a prophecy about Jesus' death. The apostle John saw Jesus being crucified and observed that, despite the custom of breaking legs to hasten death, the soldiers did not break Jesus' bones. Citing Psalm 34:20, John says: ″These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken'″ (John 19:36). God rescued His righteous servant David by keeping him from death. This points forward to the greater rescue of His perfectly righteous servant and son, Jesus, whom God raised from the dead.
Today, let us sing with David because God has rescued us and made our faces radiant (Psalm 34:5) with the joy of salvation.
What kind of image does the verse ″taste and see that the Lord is good″ (Psalm 34:8) bring to your mind as you consider your relationship with God?
David sings that God delivers us from all troubles. How can we apply this truth when we meet trouble, suffering, and persecution in our lives?