David wrote this song when he made the Philistine king think that he was crazy. He wanted the king to send him away.
34:0See 1 Samuel 21:10-15. When King Saul wanted to kill David, David ran away to Gath, which was a Philistine city. The name of the king of Gath was Achish, but here he is called Abimelech. David did not want to join the Philistine army to fight against his own people. So David made the king think that he was crazy. The king sent David away. In Psalm 34 David thanked God that he was now safe.
God is great!
34:1Psalm 34 is an alphabet psalm. There are 22 verses in it. Each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. Verse 1 begins with aleph, verse 2 with beth, and so on. We call this an acrostic poem.
1 I will always praise the Lord.
All the time I will sing to praise him.
2 With all that I am,
I will say that the Lord is great!
I want weak people to hear that.
I want them to be happy!
3 Join with me to tell people that the Lord is great!
Together we will make his name famous.
4 I asked the Lord to help me,
and he answered me.
He saved me from everything that made me afraid.
5 If you trust the Lord to help you,
you will be very happy.
Your face will be bright,
and you will not be ashamed.
6 I was weak and helpless,
so I called out to the Lord.
The Lord heard me.
He saved me from all my troubles.
7 The Lord's angel is very near
to people who respect the Lord.
He keeps them safe from danger.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good!
God blesses people who turn to him
to keep them safe.
9 All you people who belong to the Lord,
continue to obey him.
People who respect the Lord
will have the things that they need.
10 Even young lions may not have food,
so that they become hungry.
But people who trust the Lord for help
will receive every good thing that they need.
11 Children, come and listen to me!
I will teach you how to respect the Lord.
12 Do you want to live a good life?
Do you want your life to be long and happy?
13 Then do not speak any evil words.
Do not tell lies to deceive people.
14 Do good things instead of evil things.
Try to bring peace into people's lives.
15 The Lord watches over righteous people.
He hears them when they call to him for help.
16 But the Lord turns against people that do evil things.
He causes everybody to forget that they ever lived.
17 The Lord hears his righteous people
when they call for help.
He saves them from all their troubles.
18 When people are upset,
the Lord is near to them.
He saves those who feel weak.
19 Righteous people may often have troubles,
but the Lord saves them from every danger.
20 The Lord keeps them safe.
Not even one of their bones is broken!
34:20People who trust God still have troubles. But they know that God is always there to help them. Nothing can completely destroy them.
21 Evil things will return to kill wicked people.
Whoever hates God's own people
will receive punishment.
22 The Lord saves the lives of his servants.
Everyone who trusts the Lord to keep them safe
will not receive punishment as a guilty person.