Psalm 34: the praise of David to the mercy of God
Psalm 34 is a psalm of praise and wisdom. It is a psalm of David that praises and commemorates his escape from Abimelech, the King of Gath. David’s experience in this city was deeply disturbing and he pretended to be crazy not to die in this Philistine city. See our explanation and interpretation of Psalm 34.
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The power of the sacred words of psalm 34
Read carefully and faithfully the sacred words of this psalm:
1 will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
(Psalm 34: 1-22)
Interpretation of psalm 34
Verses 1 to 3
The first verses of this Psalm 34 are dedicated to praise and exalt the Lord. He invites everyone to praise him and rejoice with divine glory.
Verses 4 to 7
In these verses David shows how the Lord answered him and rescued him from his fears. He shows how God hears all, even the most humble, and delivers them from all distress. According to David, the sense of God surrounds him; he is with him, there is nothing to fear even in the most desperate situations.
Verses 8 and 9
The words Taste and See are in the Old Testament, and David uses them here to prove to his people how faithful God is. He also indicates that the faithful fear God, because nothing is lacking to those who fear. According to David, to fear is a call to wonder, but also to love, praise and reverence. To fear God would be to respond to the Lord with devotion and obedience.
David uses the analogy of lions to reinforce that they live like beasts, relying only on their own strength, eat like lions: only when they succeed. Those who trust in God will never starve or suffer. This shows the restored trust of David in God.
Verses 11 to 14
In these verses, David takes on the role of a wise teacher who teaches – in a didactic way – to young people the love of God and the need to turn away from evil and seek peace.
Verses 15 and 16
In these verses the eyes of the Lord appear as watchful watchmen, always attentive to the fear of the faithful. You need not fear, for the face of the Lord never ignores those who do evil. Therefore the eyes and face of the Lord in this part symbolize zeal and protection.
Verses 17 to 19
Once again Psalm 34 repeats that God is near, God comforts and frees all believers and the righteous from their anguish.
Verses 20 and 21
This may raise doubts. When David says that the Lord protects all his bones he means that the Lord preserves him, guards him and protects him, not letting anything happen to him, not a bone breaking. The words of this verse contain a detail of Jesus’ death. When the Roman soldiers came to break Jesus’ legs to make him die faster, they realized that he had already died. Despite the terrible suffering he has gone through, none of His bones were broken.
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