Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 34

Psalm 34

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

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.

Chapter 34

Matthew Henry comments on the first few verses by stating the following, "If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them." I kinda see where Henry's going with because the fact that I'm gonna spend eternity with God motivates me to do great things for His Kingdom, which has the possibility of changing lives and helping those who need Christ in their lives find Him and know Him. I don't really go around talking to people about Jesus, but I still do things -- such as draw and write -- which can glorify Him and perhaps the Holy Spirit could work through those things and touch people in a way that they wanna know God. He's delivered me from my darkest moment (v. 4), which I've talked about before. That's kinda how I relate to verse 4 anyway. I think as soon as I looked to Him, He filled me with His light (v. 5) and He saved me from the trouble I was experiencing (v. 6) and I praise Him for both those things. I look back on it and it's safe to say that He used my trial for His glory. I grew closer to Him at the end of it and I thank Him for that because it's always a good thing to grow in Him. God's angel eventually helped me out (v. 7) since He must've considered me as one who fears Him. I think, though, that if I didn't fear Him and live for Him, He wouldn't have helped me out and I would've been living under Satan's lies longer than I would've like to. I think the fact that I try to spend time with God and read His Word every day is what helps me to grow and know Him more. I think by doing those things, I am exposing meself to His goodness and love (v. 8), which comfort and humble me. I think it's cool that if I fear Him, if I revere Him -- which I continue to do -- I have no want, or I "lack nothing" (NIV). What verses 9-10 mean to me is the fact that I fear God means I don't have to find satisfaction in anything else. I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again just for emphasis: if I try to find satisfaction in earthly things, that satisfaction's eventually gonna wear away since earthly things aren't eternal and they can't provide the blessings that God provides me. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:2, which says, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

Moving onto verses 11-22 now. Matthew Henry comments on the first two verses by stating the following, "Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master." I think at a young age, I knew what it meant to fear the Lord and I think because of my dad's influence, I'm doing a pretty good job of it. It's always a great thing to worship God just because nothing can compare to Him. Henry comments on verses 12-13 by stating the following: "What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts. That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue." I continue to have that desire of life in Him (v. 12) and I try to control my tongue (v. 13), which isn't always easy to do. Sometimes I may something that God doesn't like and I usually don't feel good about that. I figure that doesn't disqualify me from doing great things for His Kingdom (v. 14) because He wants me to do things which please Him and I know I'll experience His blessings as a result. I am reminded of the time I did community service for CityTeam and helped put food in boxes and helped prepare gifts so they could be sent off to the less fortunate who couldn't really have a Christmas. I think my work with my CityTeam really humbled me and got me to realize that I take so much for granted. God blessed me, though, as a result of the work I did. I think while packing food, I had a chance to be around other believers, which was a blessing because they said encouraging things to me and helped me out if I needed it. I do good things for Him and He notices that (v. 15), which is because when He notices me, He sees the intentions of my heart and He knows how He's gonna bless me. I am not against God and if I was, I'd have to face the consequences (v. 16). At least I'm doing my part -- by doing art for Him -- which will hopefully help people the see that God isn't a moral monster nor is He worth opposing. Since God knows my heart and He sees me as a righteous person, He'll deliver from my troubles (v. 17), like that time I gave into Satan's lies. I am thankful that God has that power and all's I need to do is cry out to Him for Him to help me out. It's amazing how something so simple has such a big impact; furthermore, I think it puts God's power into perspective. Whenever I feel down and defeated, I like the confirmation, the truth if you will, found in verse 18. I can't say I've had a broken heart before, but I'm thankful of being reminded of the fact that God notices that kind of thing and He'll help me out as He sees fit. I also like verses 19-20 because they illustrate to me that no pain or trouble is too big for God to deal with. I don't have much to say beyond that and I just wanted to point that out. I am glad that I am not involved in evil things, like witchcraft or idol worship, because since those are against God, I would be responsible for my own downfall if I was involved in them, which is implied where it says, "Evil shall slay the wicked." If I hated righteous things and lived in way that was against God, I'd end up in hell, which is implied where it says, "and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate." "Desolate" can mean "held guilty." Matthew Henry comments on the last verse by stating, "But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken." I am thankful that I have continued to stay with God and He hasn't given despite certain sins I've committed.

                                                 Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 34". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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