“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34: 8–9). Psalm 34 speaks of the humble, the poor, and those in trouble who turn to God to be delivered from their misery. The psalm was probably sung in the temple by the priests or by the whole congregation. The temple was for the Israelites, the place where God was very close to them and where they found protection and help.
God is good
The psalm points out that it is necessary to trust God in order to experience and recognise His goodness and kindness. Whoever trusts in God can pass through difficult situations in which they may even have the impression that they have been forsaken by God.
Trusting in God is not something we can achieve on our own, but is rather only made possible through the Holy Spirit. It is for this reason that those who trust in God are praised in this psalm. Those who can rely on God in both good and bad situations are indeed blessed by Him!
Oh, fear the Lord!
The saints, who are those numbered among the people of God, are called upon to fear the Lord. The fear of God refers to the awe and respect that human beings ought to show in the presence of God’s holiness, omnipotence, and majesty.
Those who recognise God’s majesty will give thanks to Him and take their direction from His will. The fear of God is also evident in the avoidance of sin. “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34: 13–14).
Those who feel remorse and repent of their sins are also able to recognise their own weakness and therefore the need to place their trust into the help of God. God will help those who don’t rely on their own strength but on the strength of God.
There is no want to those who fear Him
The psalm explains that the righteous will have many troubles (verses 17–18) but then at the same time expresses the certainty that those who put their trust in God and show the fear of the Lord will not be left wanting.
We do, however, find that time and again many who do trust in God lack the most basic of needs themselves. Often human shortcomings and human greed prevent people from having the bare essentials of life, and this injustice is difficult to bear. There is, however, even comfort offered here. One thing which cannot be prevented by humankind is that God is the one who grants salvation and it is He who accompanies and strengthens the people, so that even in the most difficult of circumstances they do not despair.
Even in dangerous and desperate situations we can trust in God’s love and His desire for our salvation.
29 April 2020