In yesterday’s lesson, I neglected to point out a story from 1 Samuel 21 that is relevant to today’s reading. When David ran away from Saul, he escaped to Gath (enemy territory) so Saul wouldn’t keep chasing him. The king’s servants pointed out that David was the man about which they sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
David took these words to heart and was very much afraid, so he pretended he was insane – scratching on the doors, and letting his saliva run down his beard. When the king saw this, he thought David was crazy, and sent him away.
David wrote Psalm 34 after this experience. Here are some verses that stand out to me.
V 3, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”
V 4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
V 6, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.”
V 7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”
V 8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
V 12-14, “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
V 15, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;”
V 19, “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all’
We need to be quick to praise God for whatever he does for us, just like David did. It’s easy to cry out to God when times are tough, but sometimes it’s harder to remember to praise Him and let others know what He has done for us. This is important too.
What I really like about this chapter are the multiple times that David points out that we will experience difficult times, but God sees us through those times. I like the image conveyed by verse 7. When I’m going through a hard time, it’s comforting to imagine God sending an angel to protect me. This doesn’t mean I won’t have difficulties, but God sees me through. God is attentive to the righteous.
In verse 8, I picture David saying, “I’ve been through some hard times, but I’ve remained faithful to God, and God has pulled me through. I want to encourage you to develop a close relationship with the Lord. Once you experience that relationship and experience His helping you through those difficulties, then you too can understand how good God is.”
I have to echo David’s words, because I’ve been there. So I encourage you too, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”