6. Fear God - Want Nothing! Psalm 34:9-10

Text:  “O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him.” 
Psalm 34:9.
 “The Lord is MY Shepherd; I shall not want (I.e. lack).”
Psalm 23:1.

Good morning, Divinely cared for Christian!  By God’s Sovereign grace, you and the author have come to fear the Lord - to reverence His Holiness, His goodness; His love; His great Salvation in Christ Jesus; and His saving and keeping power. 

Because we fear the Lord, we fear nothing else.  If God the Father has loved you and I so much that He gave us His only begotten Son to suffer and die upon a cruel Cross, to forgive us our sins and to redeem us by the shedding of His Own precious Blood - how can He withhold any other good and lawful gift from us?  Hallelujah!  We shall never want!  We have God’s own faithful promise in this matter.  What a gracious Lord God!

“He (God the Father) that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”  (Romans 8:32)

Read again this great verse from the book of Romans; realise the depth of its Divine meaning for every soul that is ‘born again’ in Christ.  Wow!  What love!

Question:  What is, was, and shall always be the first Treasure of Heaven? 

Answer:  The Lord Jesus Christ. He is, “..the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, (He is) alive for evermore.  Amen…”   (Revelation 1:11;17-18)

Divine Logic:  If God the Father has already given sinners - just like you and me - His only begotten Son, the first Treasure of Heaven; ’shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ That is, all things legally necessary to meet our daily needs?  Of course He will!  Praise God for such Divine grace to the most undeserving sinners such as we!

“O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him.”  (Psalm 34:9)

“The Lord is MY Shepherd; I shall not want (I.e. lack any good thing).”   (Psalm 23:1)

Those of us who ’fear the Lord’ - who view the Lord God at all times with complete reverence, and desire to be obedient to His will - study His Word to show ourselves approved of Him.  Thus, being approved of Him, we continually seek to magnify and exalt His Holy, Sovereign and truly gracious Name.  Therefore, as a consequence, we are recipients of His promise that we shall always have Him graciously provide for our every need.  We who reverence and worship the Lord God will always be in His care. Hallelujah!  Thanks be to God, amen!

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19)  Do we truly believe this promise?  I hope so.

Verse 10.  “But they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.  There shall be no silver lacking in Benjamin’s sack while Joseph has it to throw in.  Grace is not such a beggarly visitant as will not pay its own way.  When the best of Beings (the Lord God) is adored, the best of blessings are enjoyed.”  (William Secker 1660)

The confusion arises in the believer’s heart and mind, when at once he/she becomes confused as to what are his/her ‘needs’ and what are in fact merely ‘greeds’.  God only promises to supply our needs, yet always gives in abundance.

“Take a survey of Heaven and earth and all things therein, and whatsoever upon sure ground appears good, ask it confidently of Christ; His love will not deny it.  If it were good for you that there were no sin, no Devil, no affliction, no destruction, the love of Christ would instantly abolish these. Nay, if the possession of all the kingdoms of the world were absolutely good for any saint, the love of Christ would instantly crown him monarch of them.”  (David Clarkson 1622-1686)

‘Poverty‘, in the Western Hemisphere at least, should be viewed realistically as ‘relative poverty’ - you have a TV that is bigger than my TV; you own your own house, while I merely rent mine; you have a large income, while I am on State Pension, etc.  This is ‘relative poverty’, wanting something better than what one already possesses.

True ‘poverty’, in the physical sense, is mainly confined to Third World countries - where children are still starving to death, dying from basic disease through lack of proper medical facilitation and care; are mal-nourished, living in squalid conditions; with unsanitary washing and toilet facilities; and lacking proper food and clothing.

Christian countries, countries that have been exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Salvation in Him, and whose basic laws have been formulated in accordance to the Ten Commandments - have prospered consistently throughout history.  This is an observable fact.  

Scripture is thus proven to be truth -   “O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him…they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.

Thought:  When Christians sincerely, and in reverent fear, pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread…’, the Lord God Whom we revere, says ‘Thou shall not want.’

5. Trusting the Taste of the Lord God Psalm 34:8

Text:  “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
1 Peter 2:2-3.
          “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth (trusts and continues to trust) in Him.” 
Psalm 34:8.

Good morning, well satisfied Christian!  You, like the author - in the times before our conversion to Christ Jesus - have tasted most of what the world, the flesh, and the Devil can offer, yet found no satisfaction until we tasted and soon seen that the Lord Jesus was good indeed.  There is no true and lasting satisfaction found for the human soul outside of the risen Christ Jesus, and this great Salvation He alone can give.  Praise His Name!

The old adage informs us that ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating.’  In other words, we cannot prove if the pudding tastes good without first eating a little of it before we make our judgement on the quality of the product.  This is common sense.

In the Spiritual realm, the principle remains very similar.  We cannot know how satisfying Salvation is without first encountering and submitting to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Once we get a deep taste of Him, all else pales into insignificance.  True satisfaction is found in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  Fact.

Verse 8.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good.  Our senses help our understanding; we cannot by the most rational discourse perceive what the sweetness of honey is; taste it and you shall perceive it.”  (Richard Alleine, in ‘Heaven Opened’ 1611-1691)

Ever try to introduce a new born babe to the taste of something new; something other than its mother’s milk?  Indeed.  The little face wrinkles up, the tongue protests, and the entire face is screwed up tight in revulsion at this new and foreign taste.  Taste, in the natural realm, is a powerful sense indeed. 

Taste in the Spiritual sense, is similarly powerful, and has Eternal consequences.  Spiritual discernment is exercising a ‘taste’ for genuine Spiritual beliefs, ideas, doctrines, God’s truths.  We are called by God to ‘…test the spirits…’                   (1 John 4:1)

It is similar when one is permitted by God’s grace to ’taste’ the wonder of God’s Holy Word, receive faith to believe; and come to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord.  Nothing else can match the taste of Salvation in Christ; in Him and His Cross alone.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for allowing us to taste of your great and Holy Salvation grace, found only in the Name of sweet Jesus Christ.  Praise His Holy Name!

Verse 8.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good.  It is not enough for thee to see it afar off, and not have it, as Dives did; or to have it in thee, and not to taste it, as Samson’s lion had great store of honey in him, but tasted no sweetness of it; but thou must as well have it as see it, and as well taste it as have it.”  (Thomas Playfere 1633)

So many millions throughout history have enjoyed the common grace of God in seeing clearly the way of His great Salvation in Christ.  Yet, not being elect of the Father, were never given to the Son in Eternity; and, not receiving God’s gift of faith with which to believe, were Eternally lost in reprobation.  One must be granted a ’taste’ of Christ by faith, if one is ever to truly find redemption in Him.

“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  (John 6:37)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The young ruler came and tasted that Christ was good, yet went away lost and unaffected - for He was never given God’s gift of saving faith; he never trusted in Christ Jesus to save him.  So sad to see so many, today, trusting in their temporal riches, at the expense of the loss of their never-dying souls.  (Matthew 19:16-22)

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, that for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”  (Matthew 19:23-24)

The young ruler had a taste for worldly riches, but no taste for Christ Jesus  and went away ‘sorrowful; for he had great possessions.’  (Matthew 19:22)  He had been ‘enlightened’ by Christ of his need to follow Him; had ‘tasted’ of the goodness of God through His Son’s ministry to him - yet allowed his ‘great possessions’ to rob him of the Eternal blessings of the Lord God. 

The writer of the book of Hebrews mentions such deluded souls who had a ‘taste’ for Heavenly things, partook of the general call to Salvation of God the Holy Ghost - yet fell away due to lack of true saving faith and God-given repentance.  In doing so, they ’…crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh…’ and were Eternally lost. (Hebrews 6:4-6)  What an Eternal tragedy!

Thought:  God alone gives ‘His people’ a Spiritual hunger for Christ Jesus, quickens us with saving faith, and draws us to feast upon the risen Lord in full Salvation.  ‘How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer‘s ear!’  Christ alone can satisfy our taste.  Oh, come, let us adore Him.

4. Deliverance In the Fear of the Lord Psalm 34:7

Text:  “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them"    
Psalm 34:7.

Good morning, Divinely-delivered Christian!  If you and the author are genuinely seeking to believe God’s Word and  desiring to serve the risen Christ Jesus continually - we are guaranteed continual oppositions, hindrances, and troubles.  Fact.  This is a Spiritual war!  There is no place on the frontline for ‘comfortable Christianity’, or ‘cardboard Christians’.  On with the armour!  Set the battle in array!  Christ Jesus is our Victory!  Hallelujah!  An empty Cross, an empty tomb!  Jesus Lives!  And He is with us always.  Thanks be to God for this truth and His constant deliverance.  Amen.

“Teaching them (believers) to observe all things whatsoever I (Christ Jesus) have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:20)

Definition: Cardboard Christian - I define cardboard Christians as those who PROFESS Christ without any proof of POSSESSING Him; professing Christians that resemble and have some of the particular aspects of the material called cardboard. 

Cardboard appears to be firm and resolute, standing solid and rigid in its duty as part of a paper box.  However, just pour a little water upon this material, and very soon it bends, wobbles, and falls apart.  The appearance is shown to have been a total illusion.

‘Cardboard Christians’ also seem to be taking a firm stand for Christ, often appear to be ‘pillars of the Church’ - yet, when the ever-present oppositions, hindrances, and hardships come, such professors bend Biblical principles, wobble out of the firing-line of faith, and end up in a useless heap, bringing no glory to the risen Lord Jesus.  Sad, but increasingly true, especially in this ever-increasingly apostate 21st Century.

However, as our Bible text from Psalm 34 clearly teaches us: If we sincerely fear the Lord God, reverence Him in every aspect of our lives and worship Him - He encamps around us and delivers us continually from all other temporal fears and troubles.  Praise God it is so!

So, let us look at this term, ‘The angel of the Lord’, to clarify exactly Who this Person is throughout Old Testament Scriptures.

Angel of the Lord:

“(Hebrew. mal'ak yehwah). Supernatural being who bears a message on behalf of God. In many passages in the Old Testament, the angel of the Lord is identified with God, while in other instances a distinction is made between the Lord and the angel. In general, however, the terms "the angel of the Lord, " "the Lord, " and "God" are interchangeable.

"The angel of the Lord is the messenger of both good and evil. He comes to Hagar after she has fled from the abusive Sarai (Genesis 16:7-14 ) to assure her that God has heard about her misery and that her descendants will be too numerous to count. She names him "You are the God who sees me" (v. 13). The angel of the Lord pronounces a curse on the people of Meroz, because they refused to come to the help of the Lord.  (Judges 5:23 )

"The angel of the Lord executes judgment on behalf of the Lord. He puts to death 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in their camp, thereby saving Jerusalem from decimation. (2 Kings 19:35)

"The angel of the Lord both commissions and commends God's servants. The Divine Commander of the Lord's army commissions Joshua to undertake the Lord's battles for Canaan, just as Moses had been commissioned to confront Pharaoh. (Joshua 5:13-15; cf. Exodus 3:5)

"The angel of the Lord appears to Abraham. He stops Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and commends him because he has not withheld his only son from God.  (Genesis 22:11-18 ) Abraham identifies the angel as God, calling the place "The Lord Will Provide."  The angel of the Lord carries out a ministry of reconciliation. He asks how long God will withhold mercy from Jerusalem and Judah. (Zechariah 1:12)

"The connection between the angel of the Lord and the pre-incarnate appearance of the Messiah cannot be denied. Manoah meets the angel of the Lord, and declares that he has seen God. The angel accepts worship from Manoah and his wife as no mere angel could, and refers to himself as "Wonderful, " the same term applied to the coming deliverer in Isaiah 9:6. (Judges 13:9-22 )

"The functions of the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament prefigure the reconciling ministry of Jesus. In the New Testament, there is no mention of the angel of the Lord; the Messiah himself is this Person.” (Louis Goldberg, Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Thought:  Verse 7.  “The angel of the Lord…delivereth them.  In verse 6 of this great Psalm we find the ‘poor man’ crying out to the Lord for help, and the Lord hearing him and saving him ‘…out of all his troubles…’  This happens because the Lord has promised that our defences are His continual focus, and that He has ‘…graven us upon the palms of His hands…’ to remind Him of His duty towards us, for whom He suffered and died on Calvary’s Hill.  (Isaiah 49:16)  Christ Jesus is always there for us.  Hallelujah! There is no want to them that fear the Lord God; we are Divinely delivered.

3. Looking In the Fear of the Lord Psalm 34:5-6

Text:  “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.  I have sworn by Myself, the Word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.  Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength; even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed.”         
Isaiah 45:22-24.

Good morning, God-Adoring Christian!  Before you open your Spiritually regenerate eyes each morning, you are seeking the face of the Lord.  As the Lord grants you power to open your eyelids, you look to the manifestation of His grace upon the day He has provided you.  You and I realize that we are not promised our next breath of fresh air without the generosity of God’s great Creative grace being in operation - and the fresh wonders of each new day are rightly attributed unto the Living Lord as we offer up our thanksgiving to Him.  We look to God in reverent fear and awe constantly, and the Almighty, all-powerful, all-giving Lord God Jehovah never lets us down.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul.  O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty.”  (Psalm 104:1)

Salvation is of the Lord God and His matchless and truly Sovereign grace from beginning to end.  Sinful and fallen mankind has no power, no desire, no strength with which to realise he/she is a sinner and that there is a Salvation to be had in Christ Jesus.  It is of the Lord God’s free grace, and at all times according to His own Sovereign will and Divine election that any soul becomes quickened by God the Holy Spirit and saved for time and Eternity.  Illumination as to our sinful state, Christ’s absolute righteousness as the Standard for entrance to Heaven; and the fearful judgement that must come upon all men - all comes from the Lord God, and by His free and Sovereign grace alone. 

If God the Holy Spirit does not ‘quicken’ us by the hearing of God’s Word, and His message of Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus and in His full Atonement Sacrifice at Calvary’s Cross - then we can never ever be saved.  Fact. 

The Spirit’s first ministry to us, when we are yet fallen in sin and Spiritually DEAD in trespasses and iniquity, is to enlighten us, to ‘quicken’ (make alive) us to the perilous state we are in, and to show us God’s way of Salvation in Christ Alone.  Praise God for His Sovereign grace!  Amen.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter (capital C) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.  And when He is come, He will reprove the world (fallen sinners) of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me (Christ Jesus); of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgement, because the prince of this world (Satan) is judged.”  (John 16:7-11)

“And you hath He quickened (made alive, made aware, enlightened), who were DEAD (Spiritually dead) in trespasses and sins…even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together and made us sit in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  (Ephesians 2:1;5-6)

These God-inspired Scriptures clearly prove the fact that, the Lord God instigates His Salvation process by the Spiritual awakening, or ‘quickening’, of those whom He has ordained, elected, to be saved.  Our Spiritual eyes are opened by God the Spirit and our hearts are regenerated by hearing the Word of God, and we LOOK to Christ in repentance and are forever saved, redeemed by His shed Blood.  Hallelujah!

“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.”

“Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12: 2)

Verse 5.  “They looked unto Him.  The more we can think upon our Lord and the less upon ourselves, the better.  Looking to Him, as He is seated upon the right hand of the throne of God, will keep our heads and especially our hearts steady when going through the deep waters of affliction.  Often have I thought of this when crossing the water opposite the old place of Langholm.  I found, when I looked down on the water, I got dizzy; I therefore fixed my eyes upon a steady object on the other side and got comfortably through.”  (David Smith, Treasury of David, page 165)

Those whom the Lord quickens to LOOK to Him, immediately cry out to Him in sincere, God-given, repentance - for forgiveness of sins, and Salvation in Christ Jesus.

Verse 6.  “This poor man cried.  His prayer was a cry, for brevity and bitterness, for earnestness and simplicity, for artlessness and grief; it was a poor man’s cry, but it was none the less powerful with Heaven, for the Lord heard him, and to be heard of God is to be delivered; and so it is added, the Lord saved him out of all his troubles.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 165)

Thought:  ‘There’s life for a look at the Crucified One, there’s life at the Cross for me.’  “They looked unto Him, and were lightened…”, look to Him and live.