October 28, 2012
"The Ultimate Priority"
Read Psalm 34:1-22.
Have you ever suffered for doing good or been persecuted for something you didn't do? Have you ever wondered "Why should I turn to God and thank Him when I'm in so much pain, and don't see answers to my prayers?"
You are not alone. David, as a young man, had been picked as God's choice to be the next king of Israel (cf. I Samuel 16:11). As a result, King Saul tried to kill him. So David has been running for his life and takes refuge among some of Israel's enemies (21:10-22:1a). But things don't go well for him. He fears he will be killed by the enemy; so he feigns insanity and escapes from them.
If you were David, would you write a psalm praising God for deliverance, or would you congratulate yourself for such a clever ploy? Or would you fret because you felt that God had let you down?
David wrote Psalm 34: (Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left). Note 34:1-3, "I will extol (praise) the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. 2) My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3) Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together." The New Living Translation translates verse 3 as: "Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together."
David's reasons for praising God: (Psalm 34:4-7).
First, He praised God for Answered Prayer: "I sought the LORD, and He answered me; (34:4a).
Second, He praised God for Deliverance from his fears: "He delivered me from all my fears" (34:4).
Third, He praised God for Salvation from his troubles: "This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7) The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them" (34:6-7).
Fourth, He praised God for giving him an Inner Radiance or Confidence: "Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame" (34:5).
In conclusion, a heart of gratitude and praise results in a quality of life full of God's blessings. Read Psalm 34:11-22 and Habakkuk 3:17-19.
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him"
"Through it all, through it all, I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all, I've learned to depend upon His Word."
Andre Crouch, "Through It All" ("I've Had Many Tears and Sorrows")