God’s Promise of Provision
LifeWay Bible Studies for Life
God’s Promise of Provision
Week of September 20, 2015
Bible Verses: Psalm 34:1-14.
The Point: God provides for those who choose to live under His care.
“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my 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.  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, for those who fear him have no lack!  The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.  Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” [ESV]
AN OPEN INVITATION TO PRAISE
Verses 1 – 3
The beginning of Psalm 34, is David praise because of God’s goodness. This praise is followed by David’s invitation to join him in exalting God’s name together. The introduction to this Psalm gives us a clue to the context of this passage when it says “Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.” This points us to the events found in 1 Samuel 21. Here David was running from King Saul and as an indicator of how serious his situation was he sought protection in the land of Gath and acted like a madman in order to gain entrance without being arrested or killed. He then finds refuge in a cave where this Psalm may have been written
When David says in verse 1 that he will bless the Lord at all times judging by his circumstance in 1 Samuel 21 David is willing to bless the Lord during good times as well as bad times.
Those who have experienced God’s mercy desire to praise the Lord. In fact we take it one step further and desire to praise the Lord collectively or corporately with others who have also experienced God’s mercy. As Christians we have experienced God’s mercy in that while we were sinners He sent His Son to receive the death that we rightly deserve so that we can live eternally with Him. If you are having trouble praising God for what He had done for us you ought to consider what it cost Him to give us eternal life.
THE REASON FOR DAVID’S PRAISE
Verses 4 – 7
Once again this passage would be obscure if it wasn’t for the heading of the Psalm providing the context in 1 Samuel 21. In verses 4 – 7 we learn the basis for David’s praise which is the way God had stepped in and pulled him from his dyer situation.
First we have to start with David’s lack of faith. The reason he is hiding in the caves was that he feared King Saul and felt that his life was in jeopardy. I don’t want to be too hard on David. I think fleeing from Saul is the natural response. However this does demonstrate a lack of faith that could would take care of him just as he had in the past. In 1 Samuel 18 the repeated refrain was “the Lord was with him” speaking of David. What was it that made David believe that God was not with him?
Fortunately God deals with us where we are. For David this meant alone, in fear, and hiding in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22). In this low place in his life David “sought the Lord” (Ps. 34:4) and the Lord having heard David’s petition “answered” him (Ps.34.4). This is where I’m a little confused about the timing of events. Either way we know that God answered because he was soon greeted by his “brothers and all his father’s house” (1 Sam. 22:1). This Psalm makes a lesson out of this in verse 5 communicating the idea that those who call upon God will exude radiance and will never be ashamed. David refers to himself and his testimony in verse 6 when he says “this poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” This was the bases for David’s praise. Now it is only natural to wonder what would have happened had David fled from Saul but instead cried out to the Lord.
Two thing while on this point. First crying out to the Lord ought to be our first response. Too often we act as David taking matters into our own hands with out first hearing from God. That aside, it was this experience of being saved from his troubles that gives David reason to praise. Having been saved from our troubles, our sin that has separated us from a holy God our attitude should always be one of praise. We have every reason to believe that God will take care of us as the Psalmist writes “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Ps. 34.7)
Verses 8 – 14
“taste and see” this is almost a challenge for someone who has never truly put the trust in God but once they do they will realize that the “Lord is good.” (Ps. 34.8). The Psalmist says something similar in verse 9 when he exhorts us to fear the Lord. What do these exhortations mean? The Psalmist gives the answer when he says, ” I will teach you the fear of the Lord.12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.14 Turn away from evil and do good;seek peace and pursue it.” This is not an exhortation to cower before God but to have a life of humility in obedience to God. In so doing you will lack “no good thing.” (Ps. 34:10)