The Troubles of the Righteous
Psalm 34:19 “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all…” (NIV)
My dad taught me one key lesson of life, which was to pray to God before doing anything big, small, or in between. He would remind me that before every presentation or serious discussion in his work, he would say a silent prayer to the God he served, and in every single instance, God would bless and deliver him through the moment to do what he needed to do. I love a Christianity that is relevant, powerful, and meaningful to our day to day lives as we go about our business in this world. Think of it, we serve an all knowing, all powerful, ubiquitous God who is our all in all for any need that we may have! What an awesome thought indeed to take with us through the affairs of the moment, no matter how big or small.
Isn’t it a wonderful thing to be a Christian? The thrill of being in Christ, in a right relationship with our God to secure his great blessing at the extremity of our need, is the theme of Psalm 34. The thread of truth which weaves itself through Psalm 34 is that God is active in our lives. God is not passive, absent, or dead as some modern theologians have suggested, but rather he is active, present, and alive in our times, regardless of our circumstances. Just look at some of the attributions to our God that David makes in Psalm 34 as he praises him:
- The Lord answered me. (34:4)
- The Lord delivered me from all my fears. (34:4)
- The Lord heard the poor man and saved him out of all his troubles. (34:6)
- The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him. (34:7)
- The Lord is good, and blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (34:8)
- Those who fear the Lord lack nothing. (34:9)
- Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (34:10)
- The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.(34:15)
- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. (34:18)
- The Lord redeems his servants, and no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him. (34:22)
Is it no wonder why David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), given his intimate interactive life with his God, totally lived out dependent upon God’s blessing? The historical background for this swelling of praise to God was when David was alone, vulnerable while on the run from King Saul as he arrived in Gath and was brought before King Achish (1 Samuel 21:10-15). When it became apparent that they knew who David was as the slayer of Goliath, he, through inspiration in my judgment, feigned insanity in the presence of King Achish. Based upon his appearance and actions as a madman, Achish allowed David’s escape into the wilderness. It was at this point of being free from a life threatening predicament that David wrote Psalm 34. David was all boxed in and with his own resources death seemed inevitable, but with God there was a way, and David was enabled to escape through it.
My friends, this is no accident of luck that befell a young David, but rather it is the mighty, predictable, discernible, and powerful hand of the living God who delivers the righteous man from his troubles! Not some of them, but all of them! We are commanded to pray when we are in trouble (James 5:13). This command is there because the great helper of the helpless is the Lord Almighty, who seeks out the righteous person and delivers them from all their troubles. The key to being a righteous person is a belief in the power of God to operate in my life to change things as I trust him with my very life, just as David did with King Achish.
DEAR FATHER, HELP ME AS I SEEK YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, TO TRUST YOU ENOUGH TO CALL ON YOUR POWERFUL NAME TO HELP ME IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE. AMEN!
Article source: Mike White @ Summit church of Christ