Psalm 34- Praises to God in time of Trouble
“Have mercy on me. O God, have mercy on me.” David from the cave. His lament to God. “Hear my prayer. O Lord; let my cry for help come to you….Turn your ear to me; when I call, come quickly.” (Ps 56-57) “Record my lament; list or save my tears in a bottle or write them on your scroll.”
David cries out to the God of mercy who cares so much that he seems to catch his tears in his hand. His tears are on his face for David and for you. He is that close and caring. He cries out in anguish as Saul pursues him, and God answers.
“In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?” (Ps 56:10-11).
“I cry out to God the most high to God, who fulfills his purpose for me, for in you my soul takes refuge. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me.” Selah. (Ps 57:2-4). God sends his love and his faithfulness.
This lament ends with verses that have been enshrined in songs and hymns.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted O God above the heavens; let your glory be over al the earth. Ps 57:9-11).
And Now I say SELAH (Peace, rest, pause, meditate) for Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise. David goes on though. His experience with being pursued by Saul and fleeing to Gath and acting Mentally ill or crazy to escape by the skin of his teeth has made a deep and eternal impact that we can read and meditate upon today as we face struggles like David’s: loss of independence, illness, fear of the unknown. Perhaps no one wants to kill you or maybe you feel that way as you consider the age-old questions: Why is life so hard and why am I still alive??
God has answers. Perhaps, not immediate or easy to discern. He brings them through Prayer, His Word (Bible), other Godly and even ungodly people and circumstances. We can learn a lot from David on what to do when faced with struggle and trouble or many kinds. What does he do 1st?? He goes to God in prayer and more specifically PRAISE.
Ps 34- Context: David is pretending to be insane in 1 Sam 21. He is threatened to almost extinction, the last place on earth he would go, the enemy camp to escape. And there he finds God. At the end of the rope he finds God. “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice, Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” V. 1-3).
Praise of the Lord for deliverance in answer to prayer and instruction in godliness.
This is a commitment to continual prayer- an encouragement to the godly who are afflicted for any reason.
Perhaps you have experienced a loss or are grieving even now. The Lord is with us as we are tumbled and washed over by the waves and currents of mourning. I have an interesting natural artifact called a “River Tear” by Pacific Coast native Americans. It is an elongated knot from a tree that has been burnished in a strong river current for years. It is hard and smooth. It is beautiful. This is the way we will look and feel after undergoing the long and trying process of grieving the loss of a loved one or any difficult trial. God will bring us through and make us like gold as we trust in him as Job did.