How do great stories reach a large audience? Today, they grab attention with snappy headlines, or exciting pictures. In Psalm 34, David used his talent.
A psalm written by David. Beautifully written after successfully tricking the king of the Philistines into thinking he was crazy. Creatively escaping with his life to sing and write God’s praises. David went to a lot of trouble to write each verse beginning with each letter in order of the Hebrew alphabet, as I have done in the last few sentences using the English alphabet. Why would David go to such trouble? This would not have been something he could have just blurted out. It would have taken a combination of talent, time and discipline to write this Psalm.
David used his talent with words to artistically tell his story and proclaim the wonders of God. For our purposes today, I’m going to break out verses 1-8 into three main areas; testimony, promise, and action.
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” v4
We all have our own stories. No one can refute what happened to us. I believe telling our stories is the most effective way to tell people about God. People don’t want to be preached at. But they do want to hear what God did for you. Keep it real. God’s power has shown itself wonderfully in your life. Tell your story.
“They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.”v5
Tell other people’s stories. Other people have sought the Lord and their burdens were lightened. When you see people healed, finances restored, and marriages saved, tell those stories. We have enough negativity in the world. People want and need to hear something good.
“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles” v6
Be transparent. David was in need, he needed help and he wasn’t afraid to ask for it. Don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses, because it is in our weakness that God gets the greatest glory.
The humble shall hear and be glad” v2b
Humility is rewarded with help. If David had not acted crazy, he may not have escaped from the enemy. Pride keeps us from asking for help when we ought. God requires our humility and honesty.
“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.” v7
Protection and deliverance await those who fear the Lord.
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! v8b
Trust is rewarded with heavenly blessings.
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord v1-2a
David begins with action and ends with action. First he declares what he will do. Then he says what you should do. “I will bless…praise shall continually…My soul shall…”
Make a decision to worship God for who He is and what He has done.
“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.” v3
A call to action. A heartfelt plea. Can’t you hear David’s voice crying out loud, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me…” He’s saying he is with us. Worship is a community activity. We can rally up people around us to worship God. When we’re singing in church and people aren’t singing out, we can encourage them by lifting our voices.
Our expressions of God’s greatness can encourage other people to do the same.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good” v8a
To taste means you have to ingest. Your barriers have to drop. Once you’ve heard from me what God has done in my life, and you’ve heard what God has done for other people, it’s your turn.
Now you put God to the test by humbling yourself before Him. Next time you are in need, put your trust in God, ask Him for help and trust in Him for deliverance. See what happens next.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Photo Credit, By Wilhelm Gentz, Creative Commons