Psalm 34 – Day 1

Discovering God’s Goodness – The Hard Way.

“By experience you will see that the Lord is good; happy is the man who has faith in him.” Psalm 34:8 BBE

The goodness of God. We read about it, hear sermons about it, and are encouraged to believe in it. But the truth is, sometimes we doubt it. We may find it easy to sing, “God is so good,” but when we find ourselves in times of trouble, we begin to question the validity of that statement. We wonder whether God will come through for us. We waffle and waver in our belief that God has our best interest at heart, and then we begin trying to decide how to take care of our problem on our own. David had moments like this, and Psalm 34 was written after just such an experience. He found himself at odds with King Saul. Things were so bad that the king had tried to kill David with his own hands. Then when the king’s own son, Jonathan, questioned his actions, he tried to kill him as well. David was forced to run from Saul and go into hiding. This was a difficult time for him, because he had to leave everything he knew and love behind. It must have been a confusing time for him as well. He had been anointed to be the next king by Samuel the prophet. God had given him a great victory over Goliath, the Philistine warrior. David had served King Saul in his court and gained a reputation as a mighty warrior. He had married the king’s daughter and become best friends with the king’s son. Now he was running for his life. None of this must have made sense to David. He must have questioned the goodness of God. He is so confused that he runs away to the city of Gath, the hometown of Goliath, the Philistine he had killed with his sling and a stone. I don’t know what David was thinking when he attempted to seek refuge in the city of his enemies, but he found himself in a real predicament. Even they knew of David’s reputation and saw him as the next king of Israel. They said, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” David knew he was in trouble, so to save himself, he came up with the idea to pretend he was insane. He began scratching at the doors like a madman with drool dripping out of his mouth. Convinced of David’s insanity, the king of Gath allowed David to leave unharmed. David ends up hiding in a cave in the wilderness where he was joined by his family and other disenchanted individuals who were chaffing under the reign of King Saul. It was sometime during this period of David’s life that he penned Psalm 34.

David had doubted the goodness of God. He had allowed his circumstances to influence his belief in God’s inherent goodness and unfailing love. Even though he had been chosen by God and anointed as Saul’s successor, David had a hard time comprehending any good coming out of all that was happening to him. He could not see the hand of God behind the difficulties he was experiencing. So he panicked and came up with his own plan. But David was going to learn from experience that God is good – all the time. Because it is only through our experiences that we truly discover the goodness of God. David could say, “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time” (Psalm 34:19 NLT), because he had experienced the truth of this statement in his own life. David was going to have plenty of times in his life where things would not make sense. There would more than a few occasions when he would find himself under attack, overwhelmed, out of his league, and down on his luck. But he would learn to trust God. He would learn to rely on the goodness of God. God would hear him when he called. God would rescue him out of trouble. God would meet all his needs. God would be close to him regardless of what was happening to him. Through the experiences of life, David would learn the reality and reliability of God’s goodness.

Father, You are good. You have never shown Yourself to be otherwise in my life. There have been plenty of times when I have doubted it, and like David, I have come up with my own solution to my problems. But my plans always prove to be a bad substitute for Your goodness. Continue to teach me to trust You regardless of what I see happening around me or to me. Troubles are going to come, but so is help, because You are good. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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