CONTEXT: As always context is important here too. Matthew Henry gives a good explanation and background of this chapter: It is probable that David penned this psalm when he was persecuted by Saul; some passages in it agree particularly to the narrow escapes he had, at Keilah (1 Sa. 23:13), then in the wilderness of Maon, when Saul marched on one side of the hill and he on the other, and, soon after, in the cave in the wilderness of En-gedi; but that it was penned upon any of those occasions we are not told. It is a mixture of prayers, and praises, and professions of confidence in God, all which do well together and are helpful to one another. I. David professes his cheerful confidence in God, and, in that confidence, prays for deliverance out of his present troubles (v. 1-8). II. He complains of the very deplorable condition he was in, and, in the sense of his calamities, still prays that God would graciously appear for him against his persecutors (v. 9-18). III. He concludes the psalm with praise and triumph, giving glory to God, and encouraging himself and others to trust in him (v. 19-24).
One note on our main text v.1 for today. The picture shows a house in the middle of a rather barren landscape. As any hiker or biker knows finding shelter after a long arduous day’s journey is such a relief. More so if the weather or conditions made the journey dangerous.
In context, David has been (or is being) chased through the mountains by King Saul. It does not get more arduous or dangerous than that. Yet he takes time to stop and pen this Psalm opening with (AMP) In You, O Lord, I have placed my trust and taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness rescue me.
How many times in our troubles do we take time to stop and put our wholehearted trust in God?
In today’s reading:
King David trusts God; the blessing of forgiveness; the Lord hears the righteous; David’s prayer for shelter
What a great privilege we have to join with King David and the multitudes from his time to this day and be able to say, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will be continually on my lips. . . . Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. . . . This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles. the Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he defends them” (Psalm 34:1,3,6,7). Praise at our services, at dinnertime, and during daily devotions is a good and just thing, and it is something that fills our hearts with joy. But, the psalmist takes us beyond what can be expected during a time of worship and praise, as he continually expressed his love and his devotion to the Lord. That is why he could write:“And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and Your praise all day long” (35:28).
God expects all of us to praise Him even when things seem to be going from bad to worse, especially when we know this: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (34:19).
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). King David suffered numerous injustices because of God’s enemies. He referred to himself “. . . like a broken glass. . . . While they consult together against me. . . (to) take my life” (Psalm 31:12-13). David could have gotten to the point of getting angry or blaming other people for the injustices in his life. On the contrary, he declared: «But I trust in You», and with confidence he could say: « . . . You are my god. In Your hand are my times»(31:14-15). Only when we surrender our lives to God do we find the confidence, peace, and security that we desire. This does not come from “shaking hands” with God, but it does come from remaining in Him — trusting that God is the one who is shaking hands with us, because He has promised it, because we are in the hands of our Heavenly Father ( John 10:28-29).
Although sometimes we do not feel like praising God because of some problem that is troubling us, we always have to remember that God is still sitting on the throne. Together with David we can say: “Rejoice in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and sing for joy, all you upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11). Yes, without a doubt, and without any concern for the circumstances, David said: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Thought for today:An unwavering trust in God always leads us to have a spontaneous spirit of gratitude and praise.
Optional Reading: Colossians 3
Verse of the week to memorize: Lamentations 3:22-23