by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalms 34

 

I.         We usually think about the victories of David and see his life through that lens

            A.        He defeated Goliath

            B.        He won amazing battles over the Philistines

            C.        He became king over all of Israel

            D.        But we forget how difficult David’s life was reaching that point

II.        The situation

            A.        King Saul had once again disobeyed the Lord and as a result, he was told he would lose his kingdom to another person - I Samuel 15:26-29

                        1.         It was not all that long until a mere youth, David, kills Goliath

                        2.         Saul sets him up as a commander and David is successful - I Samuel 18:5

                        3.         But David was too successful - I Samuel 18:6-9

            B.        Saul tries to kill David

                        1.         Twice directly - I Samuel 18:10-15

                        2.         Then he tried to use the Philistines to kill David - I Samuel 18:17,25

                        3.         But again David succeeds - I Samuel 18:27-29

            C.        Interventions

                        1.         Saul tried to kill David again - I Samuel 19:8-10

                        2.         Michal helps David escape - I Samuel 19:11-12

                        3.         Saul chases David and God intervenes - I Samuel 19:19-24

                        4.         Jonathan couldn’t believe his father would treat his best friend in such a manner, but learned the depths of his father’s hatred of David - I Samuel 20:30-34

            D.        Thus, David is on the run. Nowhere in Israel is safe for him, so he goes into Philistine territory

                        1.         It is the place Saul’s least likely to look for him

                        2.         But David has been waging war on the Philistines, if they recognize him, he is a dead man - I Samuel 21:10-12

                        3.         He manages to escape by feigning insanity - I Samuel 21:13-15

III.       This is the time David wrote Psalms 34

            A.        The poem is an acrostic. Each verse begins with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

                        1.         This is not the work of a man scared out of his wits

            B.        I will bless the Lord - Psalms 34:1-3

                        1.         Not just when things go well, but at all times - Psalms 34:1

                        2.         Not to himself. He will proclaim it openly and give courage to the humble - Psalms 34:2

                        3.         Not quietly by himself. He heartily praises God and wants others to join him - Psalms 34:3

            C.        God answers prayers - Psalms 34:4-7

                        1.         God delivered David from all his fears - Psalms 34:4

                        2.         When people look to God, they will never have cause for shame - Psalms 34:5

                                    a.         Instead, they are enlightened by God

                        3.         David cried out to God and was answered - Psalms 34:6

                        4.         God protects and rescues all who fear Him - Psalms 34:7

                        5.         Notice the alteration between David’s personal experience and what God does for all people.

                                    a.         David is pointing out that we too have reasons to rejoice

            D.        God is good to His people - Psalms 34:8-10

                        1.         Just sample it and see how happy is a person who relies on God - Psalms 34:8

                        2.         When you fear God, there is no lack - Psalms 34:9-10

                                    a.         Psalms 84:11 - God does not withhold anything good from the righteous

            E.        How does a person fear God? - Psalms 34:11-14

                        1.         In simple terms, addressing children. If you want have a long and good life then ...

                        2.         Don’t talk of doing evil

                        3.         Don’t lie

                        4.         Don’t do evil; instead, do good

                        5.         Pursue peace

                        6.         It is the same that Peter said - I Peter 3:10-11

                        7.         Peace is something people long for and the Bible reminds us that it is achieved, in part, though thankfulness - Philippians 4:6-7

            F.        God cares for righteous people - Psalms 34:15-22

                        1.         God watches over and hears the righteous

                        2.         But God cuts off even the memory of the wicked

                        3.         God delivers the righteous

                        4.         He is near to comfort the brokenhearted

                        5.         No matter how many are the afflictions, God delivers the righteous

                        6.         Evil destroys the wicked

                        7.         The Lord, however, redeems the righteous and they will not be condemned

IV.      “If Christians would praise God more the world would doubt Him less” (Charles E. Jefferson)

            A.        I Thessalonians 5:18 - It is God’s will that you give thanks in all circumstances.

            B.        It is so easy – so tempting – to grumble and complain

            C.        But fill your days with gratitude and watch as you infect your neighbors - Matthew 5:14-16

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