Rev. Tim Droegemueller, pastor of Living Faith Lutheran Church in Cumming, Georgia, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 34.
Psalm 34 paints a beautiful image: “Those who look [to the LORD] are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” And yet, this psalm is from when David “pretended to be insane in [the Gathites’] hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard” (1 Sam 21). Not exactly proud and radiant, right?
David was desperate and “crushed in spirit,” and yet God saved him from an impossible situation. David praises God for it, saying that God is constantly present and ready to rescue His faithful. To highlight this constancy, David begins each of these 22 verses with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet, all 22 letters in order. Along the way, we see our Lord Jesus, both prefigured as the “angel of the LORD” who saved David and also prophesied as “the righteous one” who was rescued from death in the resurrection on the third day.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
Taste and See That the Lord Is Good
[a] Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
34 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
- Psalm 34:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet