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Reflections on Psalm 34 - Part 1
Reflections on Psalm 34 - Part 1
Psalm 34 is a popular Psalm and easy to memorize. I remember having
memorized it long ago, but now I can quote only half of it by rote. It
starts with a beautiful paean of praise in its first three verses.
The word 'righteous' keeps appearing often in the latter half of the Psalm. (vv. 15, 17, 19, 21) Who are the righteous? Well, they are the saints, 9, those saved by the blood of Jesus. Rom 3:21-26 states that we obtain the righteousness of God by faith in the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. Not our righteousness, but God's righteousness. He is just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus, Rom 3:26. We are clothed with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. All our righteousnesses are but filthy rags in God's sight, Isa 64:6
The righteous are the saints, 9. They are the 'poor & humble' or the 'poor and needy' KJV. Note the words of David. 'This poor man cried out...' 6. 'The humble shall hear & rejoice', 2b. The righteous are the 'broken-hearted' and those 'crushed in spirit', 18. The truly 'poor and afflicted'. Such are the servants of the Lord, 22. Every saint is a servant of the Lord.
So the righteous are believers like you and me. And how do believers live their Christian life? How do they grow & progress spiritually? There are seven action-words that describe their life.
i. They look to the Lord, 5. 'They looked unto Him and were radiant!' Are we looking unto Jesus? Are we keeping our eyes upon Him? Then our faces will never be ashamed; but rather, our faces will shine with the beauty of the Lord.
ii. They take refuge in the Lord, 8b, 22. Are we trusting in the Lord with all our heart? To trust, to depend fully on, to roll our burdens on to and to take refuge in -- mean the same thing in Hebrew. How blessed are those who trust in the Lord! They shall never be condemned.
iii. They taste the Lord, 8a. 'O taste & see that the Lord is good.' We have to experience Him. We have to experience His goodness and His great deliverances in our lives. We must be able to testify: 'I know my Lord in real-life experience. He is so good to me!'
iv. They seek the Lord, 4, 10b. Are we praying to God? Are we seeking His face? He is a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God. He delivers in a marvelous way, and His deliverance is full. Yes, He even delivers us from our fears and anxieties. That's a great deliverance, indeed. If we get into the habit of regular prayer, all our needs will be supplied. We shall not lack any good thing. Yes, my God shall supply all your needs in Christ Jesus, Phil 4.19.
v. They cry out to the Lord, 6,15, 17. God seeks earnest, fervent prayers from His children. We pray prayers, but we are unable to cry out, to groan in the Spirit. Our prayer-life lacks the 'loud cries and tears' (Heb 5:7) of intense supplication.
vi. They fear the Lord, 7, 9, 11. Yes, the believers fear the Lord, but this fear has to be deeply implanted in our hearts. There must be a fear of sinning. But there must also be a holy reverence for God. Not all Christians have a holy fear of God. The Psalmist himself declares that the righteous must learn the 'fear of the Lord'.
vii. They are those who bless the Lord, 1-3; who boast in the Lord; who magnify the Lord and exalt His holy name. Are we praising the Lord? are we exalting Him? Is He really the one who saves us at all times and who supplies all our needs? Are we rejoicing in the Lord always? Phil 4:4.
(contd in Parts 2 & 3)
©Roland N Oliver/Pratonix