Text: “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth (delivers and continues to deliver) them out of ALL their troubles.”
Good morning, God-fearing Christian! After teaching us ‘the fear of the Lord’, the Holy Spirit inspires the Psalmist to openly proclaim the Divine deliverance promised to all that will live in godly fear of Almighty Jehovah God. Verses 17 through to 22 reads as a list of such Divine promises to us ‘His people’, as we endeavour, to the very best of our abilities, to live in the fear and reverence of His Holiness and grace.
Verse 17. “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them. Note who is doing the crying out, ‘the righteous’ – all those souls made righteous by faith in the full Atonement Sacrifice of Christ Jesus on Calvary’s Cross. These are ‘the righteous’, there is no other righteousness recognised by God but the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus Himself, and because we are made ‘the righteousness of God in Him...’, our regenerate spirits are drawn to Him in sincere prayer for His help in all our troubles. Praise God, He always hears our cry and delivers us from ALL our troubles. Glory and praise to the Lamb!
Verse 18. “The Lord is nigh (near). Our God is not a Lord God Who sits afar off from us, but One that is always near, especially when we put away our sin that separates us from His Holy Presence. He promises to be near us when we are ‘broken-hearted’; and to save those of us who are ‘contrite (showing a genuine sense of personal guilt, wholly penitent) in spirit’. (Isaiah 59:1-2) (1 John 1:7-9)
Verse 19. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” “The Lawyer can deliver his client but from strife, the physician can deliver his patient but from sickness, the master can deliver his servant but from bondage, but the Lord delivereth us from all. As when Moses came to deliver the Israelites, he would not leave a hoof behind him, so when the Lord cometh to deliver the righteous, He will not leave a trouble behind him. He Who saith, ‘I put away all thine iniquities,’ will also say, ‘I put away all thine infirmities.’” (Henry Smith 1560-1591)
Verse 20. “He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken. Eternity will heal all their wounds. Not a bone of the mystical Body of Christ shall be broken, even as His corporeal frame was preserved intact. Divine love watches over every believer as it did over Jesus; no fatal injury shall happen to us. We shall neither be halt nor maimed in the Kingdom, but shall be presented after life’s trials are over without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, being preserved in Christ Jesus and kept by the power of God unto Salvation.” (C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, page 168)
Wow! What an assurance from the Scriptures of God that we who have been saved are perfectly secured for Eternity! Even death can merely escort us into God’s Presence, where we are blessed with joy unspeakable. Hallelujah! We are SAVED!
“Christ’s bones were in themselves breakable but could not actually be broken by all the violence in the world because God had fore-decreed, ‘A bone of Him shall not be broken,’ So we confess God’s children mortal; but all the power of Devil or man may not, must not, cannot, kill them before their conversion according to God’s election of them to life, which must be fully accomplished.” (Thomas Fuller 1608-1661)
Verse 21. “Evil shall slay the wicked; and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. This verse from Psalm 34, is as much a Divine promise as all the Divine promises that have been expounded thus far in this great Psalm of inspired Scripture. The entire Psalm is devoted to God’s promise to those of us that ‘fear the Lord’, reverence His Holiness and His Holy Name; worship Him in spirit and it truth.
‘The wicked’ Defined: Here in God-breathed Scripture, ‘the wicked’ are clearly defined, and the first characteristic of ‘the wicked’ revealed is his/her hatred of people just as clearly defined as ‘the righteous’.
“The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)
“Then shall He (Christ Jesus) say unto also unto them (‘the wicked’) on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into the everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)
‘The Righteous’ Defined: ‘The righteous’ are clearly defined consistently throughout Holy Scripture as those who have been imputed (put to ones account by God’s grace) the total righteousness of Christ Jesus Himself – genuinely born again Christians.
“For He (God the Father) hath made Him Who knew no sin (God the Son) to be sin for us (‘His people’); that we (the elect of God) might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus Christ).” (2 Corinthians 5:21) (My paraphrase)
Apart from such Divinely imputed righteousness, there is none righteous, no not one. (Romans 3:10-18) (Isaiah 64:6)
In verse 21 of Psalm 34 therefore, God has promised that ‘evil shall slay the wicked; and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.’ The terrible fulfilment of this Divine promise shall be pronounced on the day of God’s judgement for ‘the wicked’, the ‘unjust’ – who have practiced no fear of the Lord God, and detested those of us who have been imputed the righteousness of Christ Himself through God’s grace, by His gift of believing/trusting faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Verse 22. “The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and NONE of them that trust (believeth) in Him shall be desolate.” This is God’s promise to those who fear Him.
Thought: “The fear of the Lord IS the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Fear the Lord in this, the day of His grace, be forever SAVED!