The Message of Psalms (Psalm 34)

Psalm 34: yes hope in God, but what kind of hope?

1. Testimony…

– I used Psalm 34 to save me from trouble. Especially verse 5

– But, when I “grew up”… I found that the Psalm wasn’t guaranteeing the ‘salvation’ anymore. I found that I was not always saved. And in one incident, I was definitely not saved, but shamed.

– Of course I knew that the Bible must be read in context and we must be extremely careful to make direct parallels to our lives without the help of the Holy Spirit who gives us wisdom. But in the past this Psalm was “working”.  I wished it was a promise for ever. But it wasn’t that kind of promise.

2. But Psalm 34 is a different kind of promise. It encourages Christians on multiple levels.

– Like me, the immature believer, it can comfort us and give us hope that peril will not befall us. However, for mature Christians, Psalm 34, challenges us more deeply. On a more fundamental level.

As I began to read this Psalm as a mature believer… I found it rich with lessons not for saving from harm, but saving through harm, not for protection as much as deliverance.

(Read Psalm)… highlight

–          afflict (2), “poor man” (6)
–          Even though 8-14 suggests a perfect life if you follow God…
–          …that perfect life is that God is attentive to our “cry” (why would there be need to cry in a perfect life?).

–          Especially see 17-18 highlight the idea that God doesn’t prevent broken hearts, but is close to us when our heart is broken, saves those who are crushed.
–          Ultimately… 19.. we may have many troubles, but God delivers us from them all.

3. Drawing towards Christ

–          Psalm 34:20 would be interesting for some of us… who want God to save us from peril. The idea that there is no real peril involved… this is nice… we will fall but not get hurt, kind of thing.

–          But for Christians we are immediately drawn to the cross. In John 19:36 this is considered a fulfilment of the prophecy.

–          How ironic that the person who is dead is considered protected by God (not a bone be broken). Some would prefer bones being broken to death, don’t you think?

–          Christians who look at Jesus are reminded that the suffering of the righteous is not prevented, but despite all the humiliation he receives, Jesus is radiant, his face is never covered with shame.

4. Conclusion This Psalm has multiple meanings…

–          For us as young believers. It does remind us that God saves us from peril.

–          It certainly also allows for the more mature reading… for us to see ourselves in the shoes of Christ… the righteous who suffers, but will not be put to shame. 

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Passage for this Season

Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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