Psalm 34: Righteous Cry for Help

Why might Christians who once praised the Lord condemn him?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 34:1 A song of David when his pretended insanity caused Abimelech to send him away.
I will always praise the Lord, continually speaking of his goodness.
King James
Psalm 34:1 <A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.> I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

How could our praising God give the afflicted hope?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:2 I will proudly declare the Lord’s goodness in my life, causing the poor and afflicted to have hope and rejoice.
King James
Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

Who benefits from the crowds who gather to worship God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:3 Let’s sing of God’s greatness together and declare how wonderful he is.
King James
Psalm 34:3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

If God already knows our needs and hears our thoughts, what is the benefit of “crying out” to God?

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Psalm 34:4–6 I prayed for God’s help, and he answered me, calming all my fears.
Those who look to the Lord will radiate his glory, feeling no shame.
When desperate people cry out to God, he listens and saves them from their distress.
King James
Psalm 34:4–6 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

How long should we have to wait for God’s deliverance?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord stands guard around those who revere God, and he delivers them.
King James
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Is it necessary to develop a taste for the Lord’s goodness? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:8 Taste the Lord’s goodness and you will want more. In all things, trust him, and you will be blessed.
King James
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

What is the difference between having all we need and having all we want?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:9 Let the Lord’s people revere him, and they will have all they need.
King James
Psalm 34:9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

What makes young lions different from those who seek the Lord?

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Psalm 34:10 Young lions become weak from hunger, but those who seek the Lord will be well fed.
King James
Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

How can people be taught to respect the Lord? What would make those lessons difficult to grasp?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:11 Be good students, and listen to me. I will teach you to respect the Lord.
King James
Psalm 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

What are the secrets to a long and satisfying life?

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Psalm 34:12–13 Do you want to live the good life and grow old? Tell no lies, and never speak evil of anyone.
John 11:25–26 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even if they have died, 26 and those who are living and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
King James
Psalm 34:12–13 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
John 11:25–26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Why is focusing on doing right so important in avoiding evil?

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Psalm 34:14 To avoid evil, focus on always doing what is right, seeking peace.
Matthew 12:43–45 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it wanders through barren places in search of rest but finds none. It then says, ‘I know. I will return to the person I left.’ It finds its former home empty, swept clean and ready to be occupied. So it finds seven spirits more evil than itself, and they go to live there. That person is worse off than before. This is what will happen to the evil people of this generation.”
King James
Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Matthew 12:43–45 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

If God is always watching and listening, what causes answers to our prayers to take so long?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:15 God is always watching over the righteous, listening to their prayers.
King James
Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

How can God cause evildoers to be forgotten?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:16 With his face turned away, God will cause evildoers on Earth to be forgotten.
King James
Psalm 34:16 The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

What is the difference between the righteous and the unrighteous crying out to God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, God listens and saves them from their troubles.
King James
Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

How can we be sure that God is sensitive to our needs?

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Psalm 34:18 The Lord is sensitive to the needs of the brokenhearted and will rescue those whose hearts are crushed.
Hebrews 4:15 Our High Priest is easily touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because he was tested in every area just as we are, yet without sin.
King James
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

What reasons might righteous people have for suffering afflictions?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:19 Righteous people suffer many afflictions, but the Lord is the deliverer from them all.
John 15:20 Remember what I said before. The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they had listened to me, they would listen to you.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved Christians, don’t regard your terrible ordeal as something unusual, because it’s there to demonstrate your faith.
King James
Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.)
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

What is the significance of “no broken bones”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:20 He protects his bones so none are broken.
John 19:36 These things happened to fulfill the scripture: He protects his bones so none are broken.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 Troubles press us from every direction, but we aren’t crushed. We may not know what to do, yet we’re confident that everything will work out. Enemies may attack us, but God stands with us. We may be knocked to the ground, but God will raise us up.
King James
Psalm 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Why is wrongdoing like a boomerang, returning to afflict the person who gave it?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:21 The wicked will die from their own wrongdoing, and those who hate righteousness will be condemned.
King James
Psalm 34:21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

For those who have not been rescued, of what value is the promise that God will rescue them?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 34:22 God will rescue his servants. Those who take refuge in him will not be condemned.
King James
Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.