Psalm 34 Commentary
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left. Probably the Book of First Samuel 21 provides the context for this chapter. But what is David doing at Gath of the Philistines, the enemy territory?
Well, Gath is a safe haven for David, so he reasoned. He is running away from King Saul.
The account in the Book of Samuel doesn’t give us the impression that David had as much time as to even breathe. His head was on the chopping board. In great fear, he pretended to be insane and that is how he survived what was definitely a death situation.
Don’t run to the enemy camp despite many battles within the Kingdom of righteousness. It is not a safe haven. This should be an easy pick from the chapter that motivated David to write this psalm. To be saved from the less godly brothers within the church is better than being saved from sinful men out there.
Even in this moment of sudden danger and consequently great fear, David still had time to call upon the LORD. There is probably no event that can be too sudden for a prayer. The grace of the LORD always allows for one.
But who is not shocked by this kind of deliverance! Of all the means, weapons, ways; unlimited in time and space; knowledge and power; and authority; the LORD decided to save David in a much-undignified way. We may speak of one short of saving techniques. David has a different opinion though, hence psalm 34.
He returns to the LORD and thanks Him for the deliverance. He has seen the finger of God behind it all.
Rather than a very long complaint letter to heaven and a do-it-better lecture, David is full of praise. He acknowledges God’s presence in all his circumstances.
“Fear the LORD, you his holy people.” There is one fear against which David sought deliverance. But there is another fear he seeks for God’s holy people, the fear of the LORD. Probably because with this fear, we cannot fear anything else.
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
This psalm is messianic as verse 20 becomes the subject of John 19 verse 36. It applies to the man Jesus Christ. The same thought here can be applied. The sovereign God chose Gethsemane as the means for the salvation of humanity. That is sovereignty!
We are reminded that no bone was broken at this point as a strong indication that the process was still under the rigid control of Heaven. We can look back at our own and appreciate all the deliverances, small or great; flowery or ugly, dignified or shameful escape. It is a point of maturity if the saint can see through it all and sit down to write his own song of praise from his experiences.
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