Bible Book: Psalms
Chapter: 34
Verse: 1
Verse (to): 23


Psalm 34

There is much in this Psalm that reminds the reader that life can be full of difficulties – even for people who believe in God. In verse 2 David calls on “those who are hurting” to listen. In verse 4 he acknowledges that he is afraid. We find a reference to the story behind this Psalm in verse 6: “This poor man called out, and the Lord heard him. He saved him out of all of his troubles.” Verse 10 reminds us that we live in a world where even the strong, living like predators (lions), may go hungry. According to verse 17, even godly people experience troubles that make them cry out to God. In verse 18 we meet “those whose hearts have been broken” and “whose spirits have been crushed”. Verse 19 sums it up, “Anyone who does what is right may have many troubles.”
Alongside this thread of life’s difficulties and troubles there runs another thread: that of God’s kindness and care.
David witnesses that God has answered him and saved him (verse 4). He repeats in verse 6 that the Lord has heard him and saved him. Therefore he can assure his listeners that the “angel of the Lord stands guard around those who have respect for him. And he saves them” (v 7). God provides for the needs of those “who trust in the Lord” (v 10 – NLT). Verses 15 to 22 describe a caring God (v 15) who hears the cries of his people (v 17), comes close to them (v 18), saves (v 17b, 18b & 19b) and protects them (v 20) and saves them from condemnation (v 22).
What is the connection between these two threads? How can this Psalm helps us to “take heart” (v 2) and be glad – even though we are helpless?
For me the answer lies in realising that this Psalm is about a dynamic relationship between the living God and a human being. The Psalm invites the listener/reader to such a relationship.
To think about or discuss: How can we assist people who experience difficulties to become aware of God’s kindness and care?
(Note – quotes from the New International Reader’s Version except otherwise mentioned)
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English