Many They Are (Psalm 34:19-22)
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. 21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. —Psalm 34:19-22
David begins Psalm 34 praising and exalting the LORD. As the song develops, we hear ample reasons for David’s praise:
Deliverance from fear
A radiant hope and confidence by experience
This poor man is saved and delivered from all his troubles
The angel of LORD surrounds and delivers him
He lacks no good thing
The Lord’s eyes and ears are attentive to him
A personal nearness with the God of heaven
Redemption and no condemnation
How fitting that praise would continually be in David’s mouth. Yet, mixed in with these blessings are the realities of troubles and afflictions, and David knew them well. So many were his troubles that David often cried out to the Lord—and in seeking God in the midst of his troubles he found refuge, deliverance, and a nearness to God.
By experience we too know of troubles and afflictions, many they are. Yet for the righteous, we see in this week’s passage, a deliverance from them all. Verse 20 gives us a clue on how this works: "He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken."
Jesus, the perfect righteous lamb was afflicted, despised, smitten, crushed by God. But God set a limit. There was a boundary established by God that could not be moved: none of His bones will be broken.
The afflictions Jesus experienced were horrendous (Isaiah 53), and yet the Roman soldiers, tasked with breaking the legs of those crucified to accelerate their deaths, bypassed Jesus—because a boundary was set: “not one of them is broken” (v. 20).
The righteous also live within the boundaries set by God. They will experience troubles and afflictions, but only that which God allows. Afflictions may cause much of the suffering in this life, even death. Yet, they (the righteous) can be assured, deliverance is coming, the redemption of their soul.
…the Lord redeems the life of His servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. (v. 22)
What precious truth, none who take refuge in him will be condemned.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Like David, let us cry out to God in our afflictions and praise Him in our deliverance. Let us magnify and exalt His name together!
Have your afflictions and troubles caused you to cry out to God?
Are you seeking Him (v. 4), experiencing Him (v. 8), obeying Him (v. 14)?
Do you trust God in the boundaries He has set for you?
What does it mean to take refuge in Him?