Multiple Deliverances by the Strong Deliverer (Psalm 34:17-18)
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:17-18
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
David was a wanted man on the run. He fled the presence of neurotic King Saul and said his final goodbye to Jonathan, his best friend. David could not know when, if ever, he would see his home again. All that David loved was now behind him. His heart must have been breaking as he ran. His spirit surely was weighed down, making his pace erratic.
From here, for some inexplicable reason, David decided to abscond to Gath, the hometown of David’s vanquished foe Goliath. He arrived carrying Goliath’s sword, perhaps as a gift to entreat them and curry their favor. However, the men of Gath recognized David, captured him, and brought him to face the city’s menacing leader. The smell of blood was in the air.
The danger was obvious, not so the way of escape. If you had been in David’s shoes at that time, can you imagine your mental frame of mind? What emotional struggles would you be fighting? Where would your faith be placed at such a time?
1 Samuel 21:10-15 is the context for Psalm 34. We know this from the title given to this psalm. Our focus here is verses 17-18, with the emphasis being on our God, the Deliverer. Note that the same saving grace is voiced multiple times throughout this psalm (v. 4, 6, 19), with surrounding verses supporting the truth that we will have many troubles throughout our life but God’s promise as our Deliverer never fails.
If you are tempted to think that the promises of Psalm 34:17-18 claim too much, that you are familiar with times when these promises were not your experience in time of need, we find the truth stated here as a principle of God’s sovereignty. Even though David used his wits by feigning lunacy in order to escape the Philistines, it is clear from David’s accounting that he credits God’s saving hand as the Source of his deliverance.
Questions for Reflection
Where am I currently not trusting God with the difficulty I am facing?
Instead of feeding my anxious thoughts by reminding myself how hard my circumstances are, how will I seek out and listen instead to the One who promises to deliver my soul from trouble?
Remember that Christ Himself was delivered over to sinful men and left abandoned on the cross. Jesus knows first-hand how horrible and lonely is the place of suffering, and His promise is to never leave you there.