Monday 23 January, 2017

Psalm 34

1 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Particularly…

…I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

The Psalmist here is making a bold claim. But it’s a claim based in his experience; “I had overwhelming fear. I sought the Lord, and…He delivered me from it ALL!”  This is a testimony, not simply a brick-in-space theoretical statement. This is a declaration of lived experience. All my times before in reading this passage, I’ve thought of it as theory to be applied, not testimony to be encouraged by.

Of course one’s face would be radiant if ALL ones fears were gone because of seeking God.

A radiant face, fear-delivered and shame-free, CAN be my experience in life. If the psalmist experienced this, and he refers to himself as one poor, humble man, then surely the inference is – so can anyone who seeks God first, and looks to Him above all others.

I set my face to seeking you first and foremost. Deliver me from all my fears as I set you first above all else in my daily life. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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