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Psalm 34:1

Thanksgiving and Instruction of One Delivered out of Great Trouble.

A psalm of David when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, this being the title of the Philistine rulers, Gen. 20, 2, the name of this king of Gath being Achish; who drove him away, and he departed, 1 Sam. 21, 10-22, 1. 

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, David embodied the lessons of this incident in his life in the present hymn.

DAVID PRAISES GOD FOR HIS DELIVERANCE. — V. 1. I will bless the Lord at all times, in every season, David's own cheerfulness being so notable because his troubles at that time were by no means at an end, since he was obliged to hide in the cave Adullam, in the wilderness of Judah; His praise shall continually be in my mouth, for there is never an occasion when praise is not proper in the believer's mouth. V. 2. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, glory in Yahweh, setting forth His majesty and goodness; the humble, that is, the sufferers, the pious who have been humbled in the school of sorrows, shall hear thereof and be glad, their own faith will be strengthened by the experiences of David. 

V. 3. O magnify the Lord with me, ascribing greatness to Him, in an act of praise, and let us exalt His name together, acknowledging His loving-kindness and tender mercies. V. 4. I sought the Lord, eagerly entreating Him for help, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears, the evils and dangers which inspired terror in his heart. V. 5. They, all sufferers in the class of David, looked unto Him, in eager longing for salvation, and were lightened, they became bright, reflecting the beaming kindness of the heavenly Father; and their faces were not ashamed, they did not need to be abashed and blush with disappointment, with vain crying. 

V. 6. This poor man cried, this distressed one, the reference being to David in particular, but applying in all similar cases as well, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles, not merely from the danger threatening him in Gath. From this fact David draws a general conclusion: v. 7. The Angel of the Lord, that powerful minister of Yahweh, in whose person the Son of God so often revealed Himself in the Old Testament, who is always near to the believers with His mighty and gracious protection, encamps round about them that fear Him, like an armed host, affording the safest protection, and delivereth them, setting them free from all dangers and oppressors. 

V. 8. O taste, trying it out as something extremely palatable, and see, enjoying it also with the eyes, that the Lord is good, the psalmist urging the believers to seek the experience, to make certain for themselves. Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him, makes Yahweh his refuge; for he who fears Him has all blessings in Him. 

V. 9. O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him, they have the fullness of all they need. V. 10. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing; that is, it will sooner happen that the irrational animals, for whom the providence of God provides so regularly, Ps. 145, 16, will suffer hunger, than that those who strive after the true fellowship with God will be in any kind of need. So much all believers should learn from the deliverance which David experienced in Gath.