Psalm 34

Scripture:  Psalm 34:17-18  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.


Observation-What does it say?  David had an eventful life.  From his humble beginning as a shepherd and being the youngest in his family.  For a time, he was King Saul’s personal harp player.  He was then thrust into the limelight after killing Goliath.  Taken into the kingdom and made the leader of Israel’s military.  After time, Saul grew jealous of David, knowing that he would ascend the throne of Israel, and he made multiple attempts on his life.  


From the title of this Psalm, we know it was written in a period when David was fleeing for his life from Saul.  The time in which he “feigned madness” was documented in 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1.  It is from this place of uncertainty that David was able to write, “I will bless the Lord at all times” (34:1).  In faith, David sees God’s deliverance, even though he is not living in it.  In obstinance of what he sees, which is complete chaos, he trusts in God’s provision for those who are broken.


Understanding-What does it mean?  For most of my life, I have been called an “old soul.”  Which carries into my love of hymns.  One of my favorite hymns, “It Is Well,”  was written by Horatio Spafford in the wake of a horrible tragedy.  Once a prominent businessman, Spafford lost all of his assets in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.  His son died a short time before this.  Then in 1873, he was set to take part in a missionary trip to England with Dwight Moody.  Delayed by business, he sent his wife and four daughters ahead, with plans to follow only days after.  The ship carrying his wife and daughters was struck by another ship and sank, killing his four daughters.  


After receiving the news of the loss of his daughters, Spafford sailed across the Atlantic to be with his wife.  It is said that as he crossed the place where his daughters died he penned the words of the hymn.  When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.   


The uncertainty of today definitely feels like we are in the midst of a billowing sea.  But, God’s word tells us of his goodness and His plans for a bright future.  It is in these times where faith needs to take hold, even amidst what we cannot see.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  When we look at these incidents from a perspective focused on heaven, we know they will all be in the goodness of God’s plan (Romans 8:28).


Life Application  Jesus, help me come to know you more intimately, where my faith in you will abound more.  Fill me with peace, even when the world feels as though it is trying to tear me down.  Help me to see this world from the view of eternity, where there is no more sorrow.  Teach me to say, it is well with my soul.

-Tyler Galloway