Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week Nine

Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week Nine

Scripture: Read Psalm 34

Devotion – “Finding Jesus in the Psalms” from The Worship Initiative: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. . .. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:1–2, 8)

The circumstances in which David wrote these words were anything but good (1 Samuel 19). David has not yet been declared king (2 Samuel 5). He was being ruthlessly hunted by the current king of Israel, a man of incredible power and resources, as well as great jealousy and anger. As the crowds sang, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7), Saul’s blood boiled and gave birth to a craving to kill the prized son of Jesse.

Saul sent men after David to kill him, but they loved David (1 Samuel 19:1). So, in a moment of rage, he launched his own spear at the young man (19:10). David narrowly escapes and flees. As if the enemy at home was not enough, he runs into the hands of another in nearby Gath. Achish the king of Gath immediately becomes jealous and hostile toward David. David pretends to be insane so that they will not kill him and, as a result, they let him go. Leaving that city of hostility and heading back out into a world of opposition and danger, David writes, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).

David was facing many more problems than Achish of Gath, but that didn’t keep him from celebrating the grace of God in this prayer. David sang in the midst of his troubles, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). It’s hard to understand David saying he was delivered from all his fears because after he escaped from Gath, Saul slaughtered all the priests at Nob and then pursued David into the wilderness to kill him (1 Samuel 23:15). Eventually, David is forced to return to Gath again (1 Samuel 27:2). They receive him for a while this time, but he was eventually cast out (1 Samuel 29:11). David’s wives and the other women were captured in a raid (1 Samuel 30:2), and his own people turned on him to stone him to death (1 Samuel 30:6). David surely had many things to fear. However, he rejoiced in God’s daily deliverance. Faith in a sovereign, gracious, and loving God freed David to rejoice and give thanks as each day unfolded – thanking His protector for present deliverance, present victory, present mercy.

Grace for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow…That is the invincible song of Psalm 34. Worship the God of all wisdom and all power, who created and governs the whole universe, and who cares for the daily needs of each of His children. Take refuge in the God whose eyes “are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

When stress and disappointment and fear begin to drown our hope and joy in God, Jesus encourages us to be like David. “Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31–33). God’s new mercy meets us each morning (Lamentations 3:22–23), and most of the time we’re too consumed by tomorrow’s trouble to even notice. David models stopping even in the midst of ongoing uncertainty and distress to celebrate daily grace, and he calls us to join him in that peace and confidence. Like a great Father-King, God plans to pour out everything at His disposal to keep you from everything threatening your eternity with Him and to satisfy you fully and forever with Himself. It may not always be safe or pain-free or clear to you in the moment, but He will bring you to a never-ending life you wouldn’t trade for anything. Focus on the ways — small or large — He has lovingly cared for you today — taste and see that He really is good — and trust Him for that grace to come again tomorrow.

Reflect

  • Attribute: Focus on an attribute of God* illustrated in Psalm 34. Praise Him for who He is and how He shows His continual faithfulness and deliverance. Thank Him for His daily grace. Ask forgiveness for the times that you were too concerned about the problems of tomorrow to see His deliverance of ‘today’.
  • Pray: Re-read Psalm 34 and turn it into a personal prayer. Mention how God has specifically answered you, delivered you, and provided for your needs. Profess His power and wisdom and be humbled by the God of the universe who cares for your daily needs and calls you His special child.
  • One Kind Act: Ask your Father to bring to mind someone who is especially burdened with cares just now and could use an uplifting word. Contact them and bring a word of hope. Tell them you care, but even better is the love their heavenly Father has for them. Tell them that like David, He offers daily deliverance to those who trust in Him.  

*Eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; wise, good, loving, gracious, merciful, patient, holy, righteous, sovereign.

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