Have you ever found it challenging to praise God at all times? I have been trying to grow in this area of my life for the past year. I have seen some growth but know that I still have a ways to go.
This past week was another opportunity for me take a another step of growth. I have been dealing with a cold for the past week. The verse “the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” came to my mind throughout this cold. This is why we need to learn to be led by the Spirit. Our flesh will most likely fail us, but the Spirit won’t! I want to take a look at Psalm 34 today and see what the Lord wants to speak to us from this passage.
David wrote Psalm 34 after God delivered him from his enemies. David was on the run from Saul and ended up in Gath. If you remember, Gath is where Goliath is from. This is Philistine territory. People began to recognize David who killed their great warrior, so David pretended to be insane. The king saw him as no threat and let him go. David knew that it was the Lord that delivered him and not his acting skills.
I. An invitation to worship
A. Continual Praise
Psalm 34:1-3: I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
continually, always, evermore
“to stretch out to eternity or to extend forever”
Is continual praise possible? Yes, but praise has significant impact on our lives. Praise is powerful. It changes us. It gives us strength. It changes our perspective. It points others to Jesus. It confounds our enemy.
David invites everyone to join him and continually praise the Lord. There is so much power when we gather and praise the name of Jesus together. We could have had a bad week, but something changes in us when we turn our eyes to Jesus and praise Him.
B. Answered prayers
Psalm 34:4-7: I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
When we look to Him for help, he fills us with joy that radiates from our lives. He listens and saves us from all our troubles. He surrounds us with His angels. He is fighting on our behalf.
C. Experiencing God’s goodness
Psalm 34:8-10: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
to eat, to discern, to perceive, to evaluate
the testing of good by means of the sense of taste
We can actually experience the goodness of God. He wants us to know Him and invites us to do so. Fear the Lord and you will have all you need.
II. Instructions on how to fear the Lord
Psalm 34:11-14: Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
Fear the Lord
to revere, to be awestruck, to walk in obedience to
If you want to live a long life:
don’t speak evil
turn from evil and do good
search for peace and work to maintain
We are able to walk in these things because we fear God.
Psalm 34:15-20: The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!
We are righteous because we are in Christ and He makes us righteous through His work on the cross. The Lord’s eyes are on those who do right. He hears us when we call for help. He is close to the brokenhearted The righteous will face many troubles, but He will rescue us every time.
God wants us to be people that will continually praise Him, because He knows how this will change our lives. Not only that but He also knows how it will change the lives of others. I was humbled this past week to see what God is doing through my life. Praise is such a powerful weapon and we need to use it to push back the enemy. We also need to learn to walk in the fear of the Lord. God supersedes everything else in our lives. Always be worried about how He feels about you, not what others feel about you. He is fighting for us and His eyes and ears are always towards us. If you need Him to rescue you today, then call upon Him and He will be faithful to help you!