Scripture reading – Psalm 34


A Word of Encouragement


David, the author of Psalm 34, had known the solace of a shepherd’s life in his youth and the pleasures of the king’s palace as a young man.  The opening verses of Psalm 34 might lead some to believe they were penned by a man enjoying a moment of triumph. In fact, they were the exhortations of a man who had suffered betrayal, sorrow, and despair. This devotion will be focused on Psalm 34:1-4.

Review – 1 Samuel 20-22

The events recorded in 1 Samuel 20-22 are the background of Psalm 34. David’s rise in popularity coincided with King Saul’s rising insecurities. David had become the focus of the king’s jealousy and anger. Knowing the king would send soldiers to slay him, David fled Israel and sought sanctuary in the country of an enemy, the Philistines (1 Samuel 21:10-15). When his enemy recognized him as Israel’s mighty warrior, David feigned insanity until he was dismissed as a “mad man” (1 Samuel 21:12-15). No longer the hero of Israel, he had become the fugitive of En-gedi. Nevertheless, David worshiped the LORD rather than be entangled in despair and self-pity.

Three Spiritual Disciplines Defined David’s ADORATION of the LORD (Psalm 34:1-3). 

David Vowed His Life Would be a Testimony of Perpetual Praise (Psalm 34:1)

Psalm 34:1 – I will bless [salute; praise] the LORD at all times [all seasons; continually]: his praise [glory]shall continually [daily; always] be in my mouth.

David resolved that his life would be a testimony of constant praise to the LORD (Psalm 34:1). He vowed to praise the LORD “at all times,” In the good and bad times, in times of blessing and times of trouble, he vowed that the “praise [of the LORD] shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1b).


David Vowed He Would “Boast in the LORD” (Psalm 34:2).


Psalm 34:2 – My soul [life; mind; heart] shall make her boast [praise; glory] in the LORD: the humble [meek; lowly] shall hear [hearken; obey] thereof, and be glad [rejoice; cheer; be merry].


Conscious of his role as God’s anointed and accepting his influence on others, David resolved that praising the LORD would dominate his soul (Psalm 34:2a), and the “humble” would be encouraged by his praise (Psalm 34:2b).


David Invited Others to Worship with Him (Psalm 34:3)


The third discipline of David’s ADORATION was his inviting others to join him in worship, praise, and thanksgiving (Psalm 34:3).


Psalm 34:3 – O magnify [boast; i.e., speak with pride] the LORD with me, and let us exalt [raise] his name [renown; reputation] together.


Unlike worldly leaders who crave the admiration and adoration of men, David deflected praise. He invited others to join him in magnifying and exalting the LORD and His name! 

Closing thoughts:


Some reading today’s devotion may be battling depression and feel abandoned, disillusioned, and discouraged. Be forewarned that negative thoughts (or “stinking thinking,” as a friend used to say) can consume you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Please take comfort in knowing you are not experiencing anything the rest of us have not faced and felt (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Please permit me to suggest two courses of action, two spiritual disciplines that can raise you from a self-defeated attitude. The first is that reading God’s Word daily and meditating on His promises must be a priority. Secondly, when you turn your thoughts to encourage others, that discipline will be as much of a balm to your soul as it is to those receiving the encouragement.


While trials, troubles, and disappointments are inevitable, you can be assured that the LORD hears and answers prayer.


Psalm 34:4 – “I sought [seek; enquire; consult] the LORD, and He heard [answered; replied] me, and delivered [plucked up; preserved; rescued] me from all my fears.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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