I read Psalm 34 yesterday, today I was to read Psalm 35…which was also good, but let’s just say that I re-read Psalm 34. I know…my fellow OCD brethren are twitching right now…I didn’t stick to the plan. Just another theological tension point – God’s plans vs. my OCD.
I will bless the LORD at all times; (All? Surely not ‘all times’…)
his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (not grumbling?)
My soul makes its boast in the LORD; (not boasting in me?)
let the humble hear and be glad. (not the proud?)
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the LORD, and he answered me (actively seeking…)
and delivered me from all my fears. (Put off our fears…)
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Put on fear of God)
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, (More fearing of God)
for those who fear him have no lack! (and yet more fearing of God…)
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (God doesn’t withhold good..Ps 84:11)
(Psalm 34:1-10 ESV)
The writers of Psalms didn’t have a bold font like I do, so when they want to emphasize something – they repeat is. ‘Fear’ is repeated a lot in this passage – first our fears, and we all have them. Who delivers them? God.
Then note how much the ‘fear’ of God is repeated. To fear God means to revere, honor him, hold him above everything else in your life. Those who do this well, will most likely see their own fears (self-oriented) dissipate in view of the greatness of our God. We all fear, don’t let our feelings inform us — inform your feelings from the Word of God. (For more on feelings, see a previous post.) Bottom line: Don’t fear – fear God.
This is a turning, repenting – a putting off/renewing/putting on – just like our passage says in v14:
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
(Psalm 34:14 ESV)