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3 Lessons From Psalm 34

Saturday, 20 March 2021

 Happy Saturday, friends!

I hope you're having a really blessed week.

At the very beginning of lockdown #1 last year, I resolved to really study my bible again. It's taken me a while to admit it, but I'm a really studious person; I love looking into things in-depth and discovering all the missing links. Especially when it comes to the bible; and there are so many connections! Psalm 34 was the first psalm I studied in any depth, and in many ways, I feel as though it carried me through some of the most difficult periods of my life. I learned so much from it last year, so I would like to share what I learned with you.

Before we go any further, I would suggest that you spend some time in prayer and open up that bible yourself. (If you don't have a bible, click here)


BACKGROUND: 

As you know, I love finding connections and links within scripture... so it shouldn't surprise you that after some digging around, I discovered that Psalm 34 was written by David around the same time that the events of 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1 were recorded.

See, not long before writing psalm 34, David had gone to the Philistine city of Gath, trying to escape King Saul who was chasing after him. 

Now the thing that had slipped David's mind, of course, was the fact that he was no friend of the Philistines. (Remember who killed the Philistine giant Goliath?) In fact, David was made so unwelcome, he had to feign madness to escape the ruler of Gath, after which he fled to a cave to hide. According to scholars, it's likely that David was joined by many other -very desperate- men while he camped out at this cave.

I won't lie to you, my first thought when reading all of this was somewhere along the lines of: "how STUPID of David to expect the Philistines to help him!". 

But the longer I thought about it, the more I realised that David wasn't daft- he was desperate... and he must have been very desperate considering that he came to the conclusion going to Gath was his only option.

When we are desperate, we tend to make decisions that in hindsight, aren't exactly the wisest... and that's exactly what had happened here with David. Yet while David got himself into a tricky situation because of his own desperate decision-making, God remained faithful to provide a way out. 

In Psalm 34, David's only concern seems to be praising and giving glory to God for providing him a way out of the mess. 

Yes, David was desperate enough to make some stupid decisions, but he was not stupid enough to stop praising God.

1. "There Is Power In Our Praise"

In verses 1-2 David affirms that he will always praise God, and in verse 3 he invites the other men in the cave to glorify God with him, so that they could "exalt his name together". See, I believe that there is power in our praise- even when we praise God on our own. But there is something so beautiful and powerful about praising God together WITH other believers! There is a reason we worship together at church every Sunday (be it online or in-person).

Verse 2 highlights one way in which the power of praise can manifest.

What verse 2 is alluding to is that through praising God (with the true purpose of doing it for God alone), we have the ability to encourage those around us- particularly those whose minds are troubled. When you live a praise-filled life, people start to notice. They start to ask questions, and these questions have the potential to impact their lives. 

Acts chapter 16 is a great place to start reading if you want to know more about the power of praise.



2. "God Is Always Faithful"

When David was in trouble at Gath (because of his own actions, remember!), he called out for God to guide him in what to do. After praising God in verses 1-3 of Psalm 34, David goes on to illustrate how God and his angels delivered David from a seriously dangerous situation. 

If God was able to do that for David- surely he can help you and me through whatever situation we might be faced with? And if we trust in God to deliver us and guide us through these situations, then we can look to him in awe as we recognise what he has done for us.

God hears us.

And when he hears us, he doesn't ignore us or abandon us; God is always faithful. He wants to save us from the troubles that we are facing- even the ones we have got into because of the stupid things we've done. But first, we need to turn to him, so that he can strengthen us through the Holy Spirit as we pray...



3. "Don't Just Blindly Believe What I'm Saying"

Let me set one thing straight here; God doesn't want us to just learn about him through second-hand stories. We were made for so much more than that. Even David alludes to this in verse 8; after telling his own story, David challenges us to really experience God's goodness for ourselves. 

If somebody told you that they had discovered the most delicious food in the world and you hadn't tried it yet, you would want to, right? That's exactly what David is getting at here. 

He's instructing us to test things out for ourselves. 

Often, we can see God's goodness in the blessings and protections that he offers us when we run to him. The key here is to run to God. 


If you were here with me, I would be pouring you another cup of tea before we went any further into the word of God. I would ask you what you had learned so far from our study and listen earnestly as you shared your thoughts with me... Unfortunately, that isn't possible for us today, but I do hope that you've been able to take something away from this post nonetheless. 

My friend, there is so much more that I could say about Psalm 34, but I think this is a good point to stop and draw this post to a close- for now. I have pages upon pages of notes on this psalm, so I can always do a part two to this post at some point in the future...

but for now, I would love it if you shared your thoughts with me in the comments section!

Let me know if: 
- this post impacted you in any way
- you learned anything through reading psalm 34
-you learned anything new from this post

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Until next time,
Adios, Sara Louisa xo

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