Where do you find solace in a time of crisis? How do you respond to pain, confusion, or cruelty on the part of others? David, who by no means had all the solutions for all of life’s problems, gave us a critical example of how believers can find serenity in suffering: by taking the hurt to the Lord in praiseful trust. Psalm 34 was composed at a time when David had fled from his home. He had been to several locations across Israel, but somehow word always got back to King Saul. The king wanted David dead, and this intention was understand by Saul’s chief officers, and counsel. David knew it too, and decided to try and find shelter with the Philistines, of all people.
David’s world seemed to be crumbling all around him. He lost his position as an officer in Israel’s army, as well as being a personal attendant to King Saul, particularly through his gift of musicianship, which brought comfort to King Saul at times. David lost the ability to be with his wife Michal, Saul’s daughter. David lost the opportunity to be with, or near, his family. David lost his best friend, Jonathon, who was King Saul’s son. And David lost a potential source of constant comfort, and counsel, in Samuel, the priest and judge. All of these people were in Israel, where David was not safe, and neither were these cherished ones as long as David was beside them. And yet when David was distraught and heartbroken he penned a beautiful song of praise in Psalm 34.
One of the truly stirring lines from Psalm 34 is when David declared that mankind can taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Perhaps this seems, or sounds, like an odd phrase. But maybe David was trying to convey that the Lord is real, and can be experienced. We can enjoy fellowship with God. In other words, the Lord is not imaginary, or theoretical. He is just as accessible as a loaf of bread. God is not distant. He is not folklore, or fake. He is the King eternal – the immortal Almighty. And He is the God that seeks a relationship with us – a relationship that can nourish and sustain our soul. So let us taste and see that the Lord is forever good.
Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)
Kevin Orr (4/15/2019)