120819 Psalm 34:1-10

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 August 2012 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Psalm 34:1 – 10
Theme: Give Thanks That Through the LORD You Lack No Good Thing!

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

 

Have you ever had one of those days? One of those days where nothing seems to go right for you? Your car breaks down on the highway...the air conditioning quits running...your boss yells at you...you have a fight with your spouse...your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you that don't want to see you anymore...and you find yourself asking, "What else can go wrong today?" There are times when life is difficult. We know all too well that our lives are not perfect. Bad things do happen to us. And when bad things do happen we may be tempted to complain, "God, where are you? Why are you letting all this happen to me?" But just stop for a moment and think what your life would be like if your God did leave you completely alone. He wouldn't offer you any help in your time of need. He would simply leave you to fight off the devil all alone. What would the end result be? It would be your complete destruction, both your physical destruction, and far more tragic, your spiritual destruction. In the Psalm that is before us today, the Holy Spirit guides the pen of King David to write a song of praise. It is a song of thanks for all that the gracious and loving LORD does for his people. Today, David invites you to join your voice with his and Give Thanks That Through the LORD You Lack No Good Thing!

In the opening verses of Psalm 34, David put some words together that we don't always say with the same breath. He wrote, "I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together." The Holy Spirit led David to use six words such as "extol", "praise", "boast", "rejoice", "glorify", "exalt" while writing to those who are "afflicted".

How can those who are "afflicted", those who are having trouble in life, rejoice and praise to the LORD? The answer to that question is before us here in Psalm 34. We read, "I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." Throughout his life David had troubles and difficulties. What did David say was the solution to those troubles? He prayed. David turned to the LORD who had promised mankind a Savior, confident that his loving and merciful LORD would hear his prayer. Time after time in David's life, the LORD answered his prayer by delivering him out of trouble.

And what was the reaction of David to such love and mercy shown to him by his LORD? Here in Psalm 34 he gives thanks that through the Lord he lacks no good thing. Listen to what David wrote, " Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." David knew that he couldn't rely on his own abilities and strength as he lived out his days on the earth. Each day it was the LORD who blessed David by providing every good thing that he needed. David found great peace and comfort in the fact that the same Savior-God who had promised to provide mankind a Savior, was taking care of him and watching over him. This goodness of the LORD led David "to fear" God. This does not mean that David was afraid of God. Rather, in response to the goodness and love of the LORD, David offered the one true God the respect and the honor that he alone deserves from mankind.

When was the last time you said thank-you to the LORD for his goodness to you? I am not talking about the prayer at the beginning of our meal that we say so quickly sometimes that we act like it is something we have to get out of the way so we can enjoy our meal. When was the last time you spent time in prayer saying thank-you to the Lord for all his goodness to you? Far too often our prayers don't say, "Thank-you, LORD, for what you have given to me", but rather they say, "LORD, I want more". At times we are all guilty of thinking or acting like God owes us something. And when things don't go our way we find it far too easy to grumble and to complain to the LORD. When we start thinking or acting in this way we do well to remember what you and I deserve for such a sinful attitude toward our God. Because of our sinful, ungrateful attitudes and actions, because of the sin we are born in, we deserve to have our Lord turn his back on us, to walk away from us forever. The only thing that the holy and just God owes you and me is to leave us so that we spend a never-ending life suffering in the flames and pain of hell. As we read in Malachi chapter 4, "'Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,' says the LORD Almighty."

As you read through from Psalm 34, there is one word that seems to jump off the page. In nine of the first ten verses of Psalm 34 David speaks about the one and only true God as the "LORD". Remember that each time the word LORD appears in all capital letters in our NIV translation we are to remember who the true God is. He is the God of faithful love. He is the Savior-God who, back in the Garden of Eden, promised sinful mankind that he would send the world a Savior. The LORD repeated that promise over and over throughout the Old Testament. And at just the right time, our loving Father in heaven kept his promise and sent his one and only Son. Jesus Christ our Savior came to this earth to take upon himself God's wrath and anger over our sins. It is because of Jesus our Savior that you and I enjoy great blessings from the hand of our God: the forgiveness of all of our sins; the promise that he hears and answers all of our prayers; the promise that he is watching over us each and every day; the God-pleasing motivation to live for him. It is because of Jesus your Savior that you are able to join with David and give thanks that through the LORD you lack no good thing!

Our LORD certainly is a good and gracious God. He shows you and me that goodness day after day as he watches over us. Through Jesus our Savior he showers you and me with his forgiving love. The Holy Spirit uses his all-powerful Word to strengthen your faith and trust in Jesus as your Savior so that you are able to give thanks that through the LORD you lack no good thing. It is the love of our Savior-God that leads you and me to join our voices with David, "I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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