A Psalm of David
When he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.
Psalm 34 in 1 Samuel, 21:10-15, where this incident is reported, the king’s name is given as Achish. Possibly “Abimelech” was a title for kings of Philistine regions. (See Gen. 20:2; 26:1) as Pharaoh was for Egypt.
Psalm 34:1-3 An introduction in which David invites others to join him in the praise of God.
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1 Bless the Lord at all times: The Chief purpose of the righteous is to Glorify God. Every life experience may be an occasion to give praise.
2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Psalm 34:2 no break down in the Bible explaining further
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:3 Magnify the Lord: Declare how great God is
4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4-10 Those who fear the Lord (verse 9) need fear nothing else (verse 4)
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
Psalm 34:5 Radiant: describes the appearance and spirit of those who trust the Lord.
6 The poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles
Psalm 34:6 no break down in the Bible explaining further
7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Psalm 34:7 angel of the Lord: This is a frequent Biblical expression for the personal and immanent presence of God Himself (see “The Angel of the Lord” at Judges 6:12)
8 Oh taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear him
Psalm 34:8,9 Trust: is an appropriate dependence on God’s faithfulness. Fear of the Lord: is a proper awe of His greatness. The two attitudes are complimentary.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing
Psalm 34:10 no break down in the Bible explaining further
11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord
Psalm 34:11 Come…listen to me: begins like the wisdom teacher in Proverbs 1:8, “Hear the instruction of your father”
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Psalm 34:12 no break down in the Bible explaining further
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit
Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue: Again and Again in The Bible, it is our mouth that shows our true relationship to God (See Job 5:21, Psalm 120:2, Isiah 6:5, and James 3:5
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it
Psalm 34:14 no break down in the Bible explaining further
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth
Psalm 34:15,16 The personal involvement of God in human life means support for the righteous, but a threat to those who do evil (see 1:6)
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
Psalm 34:17 no break down in the Bible explaining further
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit
Psalm 34:18 broken heart…contrite spirit: The conditions for approaching God and receiving His grace and help. These are the sacrifices God will not despise.See 51:17 and note on 51:16-19
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken
Psalm 34:19,20 Afflictions are a part of the life of the righteous, they are not exempt from troubles. But God promises deliverance out of them all.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous
Shall be condemned
Psalm 34:21 By contrast with the righteous, evil shall slay the wicked. There is no divine deliverance for those who continue in sinful ways.