by Theodore Wright.
This psalm is wonderfully beautiful about the LORD’s deliverance of us from fear.
Psalm 34:1-8 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Do you know the conditions this was written under? This is the Scriptural introduction to Psalm 34…
A Psalm of David, when he changeth his behavior before Abimelech, who drave him away, and he departed.
This was not a typical time for David, if he ever did have typical times. This was written during a time when he was on the run from King Saul, who was seeking to kill him. David went to the priest Ahimelech who served him and his men the Holy bread which only the priests were to eat. Then, what followed was…
1 Samuel 21: 8-15 (NKJV)
8 And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
There appeared to be no safe place for David to retreat to in the land of Israel. So, David then fled from Saul to the land of the Philistines taking the sword of Goliath, who he killed, WITH HIM! Please note that the Philistine king Achish, mentioned below, was referred to by his forebearer’s name “Abimelech” in Psalm 34 above.
10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” 12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
David was already scared silly when Saul was trying to kill him. He then turned for refuge to a Philistine king. Did he even remember that he was bringing with the sword of Goliath with him? Now his fright, was even still, intensifying.
13 So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? 15 Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
David feigned himself crazy in order to get out of this potentially deadly situation he got in going to the Philistines. He was seeking a convenient way out. With nowhere else to turn, David finds for himself, and his few men, a deeper hiding place back in the land of Judah.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 (NKJV)
David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.
It was, in this deep dark place, the Lord delivered David from his fears. From then on, it was a forward move for David which led him eventually to become the king of Israel and Judah.
More reading on this topic may be found at…
2 Timothy 1:7… God has not given us the spirit of fear.