I thought I would take a break from Mark today for the holiday. I’ve been reading through the psalms in the evenings while reading through Mark in the mornings. Many Christians have found it helpful to read from the New Testament for their morning devotions and then from the Old Testament at night or vice versa; it keeps you studying from both testaments each day. I decided to flip it today and found myself at Psalm 34. I encourage you to read this psalm as soon as you have time.
I am sure that I’ve read Psalm 34 before, but for whatever reason, it seemed so powerful this morning that I felt like I was reading it for the first time. I now plan to preach this passage for the devotion at our first day of school assembly on August 14th (which will also happen to be my 37th birthday). Psalm 34 begins with David calling on God’s people to join him in offering praise and worship to the Lord: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (verse 3). Why should we worship the Lord? David reminds us why in the rest of the psalm. David’s heart is deeply and passionately moved to praise God because he realizes that God has saved him from all of his fears and sins and His Savior continues to protect his soul and spirit from all evil (verses 4-7).
But God doesn’t just rescue us from the darkness. He offers for us to join Him in the glorious light of eternal life. Through our faith in His Son Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father gives us our heart’s greatest need and desire – a joy-filled relationship with Himself. I believe the key verse for the passage is Psalm 34:8:
“O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”
The rest of Psalm 34 (verses 9-22) cries out to us to turn from our sin and find the joy and peace of living in the fear of the Lord. The expression “the fear of the Lord” refers to a life of obedient faith. We believe that God is holy and sin is awful, so we humbly act on that belief by continually fleeing from the dangers of sin into the loving, awesome protection of God’s mercy and grace. That is the the fear of the Lord, and it is the way of wisdom, the way of life. If we are willing to give up the deceitful, fading pleasures of sin and instead put all of our trust, love, and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s ears, face, and heart will be open to us. He will be our Protector and Provider, today, tomorrow, and forever. Praying that we all continue to find and take hold of the good grace of our God.