This particular psalm was written by King David. The background of Psalm 34 helps me remember that our Bible heroes did not have fairy tale lives. Most of them are our heroes because of their situations and because of how they faced their fears and foes. This one is no different.
The history behind Psalm 34 is found in 1 Samuel 21. David is running from Saul and had been for some time. We can read about his flight from Saul in a matter of a few minutes without giving thought to the fact that this went on for years. He slept many nights in camps and caves before he ever made it to the castle. He runs to Achish the king of Gath only to be identified by one of the king's servants as the man Saul hated and was chasing.
Verse 12 says that when David heard what the servant said, he greatly feared Achish. So he did what any of us would do, right? He began to act crazily insane as if he had lost his mind! He let spit run down into his beard and I love this - he scribbled on the doors of the gate. The king got angry and asked why they had brought a madman into his house...and David was free. That's ingenious!
This fearful time was what was behind the writing of Psalm 34. David is obviously praising God for the close call and his deliverance. There's so much in this Psalm from honest praise to prophecies about Jesus' crucifixion. But as someone this morning who is ready to feign madness (lol) I picked out a few things that my soul really wanted to hear. Here are the caregiver's nuggets I chose for today:
- v.7- the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him
- v. 14 - seek peace - and pursue it
- v. 15 - the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears are open to their cry
- v. 18 - the Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit
- v. 22 - the Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.