Summer Daily Devotional - Psalm 34
At ALL Times
A first-glance reading of Psalm 34 could lead one to believe that everything is going right for the one who is singing this song. It sounds very happy and very upbeat. But when we pay closer attention to the details, we see that the power of this Psalm is not that the Psalmist is praising God because circumstances are happy but that the Psalmist is choosing to praise God in every circumstance—good, bad, or horrific.
I will bless the LORD at ALL times;
his praise shall CONTINUALLY be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).
David wrote this song of praise during his encounter with the Philistine King, Abimelech (who is also called Achish in 1 Samuel 21). Take a few minutes to read this story and you will find that this was not a "happy" time for David. Rather, it was a time of great fear and uncertainty.
Additionally, look at verses 19-20:
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all of his bones;
not one of them is broken.
This sounds "happy" until you realize that this is a direct prophecy about Jesus on the cross (John 19:36).
And so the question arises: How can this Psalm be so celebratory—talking about deliverance and the goodness of God—in light of the historical and prophetic context in which it is written, with an eye looking ultimately to the dark hour of the crucifixion of Christ?
The answer takes us back to the first line of the Psalm...I will bless the LORD at ALL times. Whatever circumstance you are in right now, it falls into the category of "at all times."
Will you bless the LORD? Will you give Him thanks? Will you declare that He is good? Will you demonstrate that He is great and to be greatly praised? He is not indifferent to your current circumstance, whether good, bad, or horrific. He sent His Son, who went to the lowest place, the most horrific place any man has ever gone—a bloody cross—to pay for your sin and for the sin of the world, though He Himself was innocent.
God knows suffering, and God knows your suffering. Will you praise Him in the middle of it all? If you do, you can be sure that you will "taste and see that he is GOOD."