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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Psalms 34

 

 

Verses 1-22

Psalm 34

Characteristics- Psalm 34is an alphabetical acrostic poem made up of twenty-two verses, with the first letter of each verse of this psalm in a succession of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Theme- Psalm 34is a psalm of praise unto God and deliverance.

Psalm 34:1 (A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.) I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1 — "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth" - Comments- David has made a declaration of faith to praise the Lord at all times in his life. He will mention God's deliverance during his times of troubles ( Psalm 34:6). He then encourages those in trouble ( Psalm 34:17), those with a broken heart ( Psalm 34:18), those in affliction ( Psalm 34:19), and those who are hated by the wicked ( Psalm 34:21) to cry unto the Lord also. In all of these experiences in life we are to continually praise the Lord; for it is in the midst of praise that God will bring us the victory ( Psalm 8:2).

Psalm 8:2, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger."

We find a similar statement made by Paul the apostle regarding God's comfort during his trials so that he can comfort others who go through similar trials ( 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

2 Corinthians 1:3-4, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

Psalm 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 34:3Comments- One of the greatest joys in the Christian life is sharing the Lord Jesus Christ together with Christian friends who love to talk about Jesus. When we bless the Lord we desire those who hear us to join in with blessing His Name. In her book Within heaven's Gates Rebecca Springer testified of her visit to Heaven. 44] In this book she reveals how a choir of praise is echoed through Heaven each time someone magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ in praise. At the praise of His glorious name the angels join with the souls of men in praising God. We see a simple illustration of this event on earth when Boaz blessed the workers and they responded with a blessing from the Lord ( Ruth 2:4).

44] Rebecca Springer, Within Heaven's Gates (Springdale, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1984), 47, 57, 110.

Ruth 2:4, "And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee."

Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psalm 34:6Word Study on "poor" - Strong says the Hebrew word "poor" ( עָנִי) (H 6041) means, "depressed in mind or in circumstances," and comes from the root verb ( עֲנָה) (H 6031), which means "to depress." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 80 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as "poor 58, afflicted 15, lowly 1, Prayer of Manasseh 1:1, variant 3."

Psalm 34:6Comments- While meditating one day on how we are to approach the Lord with our needs, the Lord quickened this verse to me. I began to see how we must come to God with an attitude of brokenness and humility. As in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, one came to God in arrogance and pride, while the other came in brokenness as a sinner ( Luke 18:9-14).

When our children are about us playing and making noise, they often ask that we participate in their games. Many times, the parents decline their requests, choosing to sit and relax. If they do answer, the response is often slow after much pleading from the child. But the moment that same child cries out in pain, any parent will jump out of that chair instantly and run to the child's need.

In is in our weakness and need that God runs to us the quickest. It is our attitude of heart that attracts God. It is our weakness and not our great achievements that gets God's attention.

Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Psalm 34:7Comments- Angels are sent forth to minister to us and to protect us. They are always in our presence.

Scripture References- Note other Scriptures that teach about the angels who are sent to be with the righteous:

Matthew 4:11, "Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."

Matthew 18:10, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

Mark 1:13, "And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him."

John 20:12, "And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain."

1 Corinthians 4:9, "For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."

1 Corinthians 11:10, "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels."

Hebrews 1:14, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Illustration:

2 Kings 6:16-17, "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 34:8Word Study on "taste" - Strong says the Hebrew word "taste" ( טָעַם) (H 2938) literally means, "to taste," and figuratively, "to perceive." This same word is translated "perceiveth" in Proverbs 31:18. The noun form is used in Proverbs 11:22 and is translated as "discretion."

Proverbs 31:18, "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night."

Proverbs 11:22, "As a jewel of gold in a swine"s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."

The word "taste" is also used figuratively in the New Testament:

Luke 9:27, "But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God."

Luke 14:24, "For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

John 8:52, "Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death."

Hebrews 2:9, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

Hebrews 6:4-5, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,"

1 Peter 2:3, "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."

Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Psalm 34:10Comments- Lions are at the top of the food chain in their ecosystems, so they are least likely to go hungry. Young lions are the strongest and most capable of hunting prey; yet, even they sometimes go hungry. The promise from God is that those people who seek Him will never, under any circumstances, go hungry.

Psalm 34:11-22 — The Psalmist Teaches on the Fear of the Lord - In Psalm 34:11-22 the Psalmist will teach others how to fear the Lord and look to Him for deliverance during times of trouble. He first gives his own personal testimony of deliverance before teaching others to follow him in his faith in God ( Psalm 34:1-10).

Psalm 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 34:11Comments- In Psalm 34:11 the Psalmist declares that he will teach his listeners how to fear the Lord. He will give this instruction on the fear of the Lord in Psalm 34:12-22.

Psalm 34:12-16Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - Psalm 34:12-16 is quoted by Peter.

1 Peter 3:10-12, "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."

Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14"seek peace, and pursue it" - Comments- One way to interpret Psalm 34:14 is to understand it to tell us to find out what you have peace at doing, what gives you the most peace, and do it heartily.

Psalm 34:17Comments- David tells us that when the righteous cry out, the Lord will hear and deliver them out of all of their troubles. He could say this because he was speaking from personal experience. He has just told us in Psalm 34:6 that "this poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles." David then exhorts God's children to seek the Lord in Psalm 34:11 before stating so confidently in Psalm 34:17 that God will surely deliver them.

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19 — "but the LORD delivereth him out of them all" - Comments- Paul makes a reference to Psalm 34:19 in his testimony to Timothy of the Lord"s power to deliver ( 2 Timothy 3:11-12).

2 Timothy 3:11-12, "Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

Psalm 34:19 — — Illustration - Note Joseph's afflictions and God's deliverance in Acts 7:9-10.

Acts 7:9-10, "And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance."

Psalm 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

Psalm 34:20Comments- The Messianic prophecy recorded in Psalm 34:20 is fulfilled in John 19:36. According to the Law ( Exodus 12:46), the Passover lamb was not to have any of its bones broken. Therefore, Jesus qualified as this sacrificial lamb in which no bones were broken.

John 19:36, "For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken."

Exodus 12:46, "In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof."

The Shroud of Turin is believed to be the actual burial cloth of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this cloth is the image of a man that has been crucified. This cloth indicates that the legs of this man have not been broken. 45]

45] Grant R. Jeffery, "The Mysterious Shroud of Turin," [on-line]; accessed 1September 2009; available from http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/shroud.htm; Internet.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 34:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/psalms-34.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 13th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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