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God is Good in our Trials | Psalm 34

What does it mean to “magnify the Lord” or to “taste and see that the Lord is good? In the first week of our Playlist series, John Elmore dissects the lyrics of Psalm 34 and reminds us of how God is good even in trials.

John ElmoreJul 11, 2021

In This Series (5)
God's Love Never Stops | Psalm 118
David MarvinAug 8, 2021
The Good Shepherd | Psalm 23
Jermaine HarrisonAug 1, 2021
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made | Psalm 139
David MarvinJul 25, 2021
Jesus is Our Satisfaction | Psalm 16
Blake HolmesJul 18, 2021
God is Good in our Trials | Psalm 34
John ElmoreJul 11, 2021

Summary

What does it mean to “magnify the Lord” or to “taste and see that the Lord is good? In the first week of our Playlist series, John Elmore dissects the lyrics of Psalm 34 and reminds us of how God is good even in trials.

Key Takeaways

  • Songs are helpful for bringing back memories. God has given us a book of songs, called Psalms, in the Bible to help remind us of important truths.
  • The background for Psalm 34 is found in 1 Samuel 21 and 22. David was desperately fleeing from his enemies, to the point of pretending to be insane in order to save his own skin. He ended up hiding in the cave of Adullam, which is likely where he wrote Psalm 34.
  • While in the cave of Adullam, about 400 people who were distressed, depressed, or in debt came to David. This is a picture of who we were before coming to Christ, which is why we have no reason to boast (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
  • David could have boasted about slaying Goliath and having his sword, or about being anointed king of Israel. Instead, in Psalm 34:2, he says that he will humbly boast in the Lord. Likewise, there is nothing we have that we did not receive from God (1 Corinthians 4:7).
  • Psalm 34:3 says to “magnify the Lord with me.” To magnify something means to look closely and make it bigger in your sight. It means to focus on God and grow your affections for the Lord.
  • When you focus on God and make Him bigger, everything else—including your trials—will seem smaller in comparison.
  • “Let us exalt his name together!” There’s a cumulative effect to praising God together instead of just by yourself, at home alone.
  • Usually, a king will stay in the middle of the camp, with his army all around him for protection. Psalm 34:7 says that King Jesus (“The angel of the Lord”) camps around us to protect us.
  • “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” It's not enough to just see it, read about it, or hear someone else’s story. You have to try it for yourself.
  • Even the most powerful people (“lions”) “suffer want and hunger” (Psalm 34:10). But with Christ we can be content no matter our circumstances (Philippians 4:11-13).
  • Fear of the Lord is to know Him and follow Him.
  • Psalm 34:20 is a prophecy of Christ, that none of His bones would be broken (John 19:36).
  • We should not be surprised by trial or afflictions, for it is “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
  • Everybody will have affliction. God will deliver the righteous from affliction, while the wicked will be slain by it (Psalm 34:19-21).
  • Those who are distressed, depressed, or in debt are all around you. When they see your life and your light, they will want what you have. You will be able to tell them your own version of Psalm 34.
  • God is good and is sovereign over the storm.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Where have you gone back into enemy land in your life?
  • What can you do today to “Magnify the Lord”?
  • How are you gathering with others, in church or in community, and how can you “exalt his name together”?
  • When and how have you truly tasted and seen that the Lord is good?

Other Mentioned or Recommended Resources

  • Suggested Scripture study: Psalm 34; 1 Samuel 21:10-22:2; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:11-13; Matthew 7:24-27; Acts 14:22; Exodus 12:46; 1 Corinthians 5:7; John 19:36; Acts 14:22; Isaiah 57:1-2; Psalm 139:16; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:34
  • Video: Tom Brady interview on 60 Minutes (2005)
  • Songs: ”Psalm 34” by Shane and Shane (Live at Watermark); ”You Know” by Bethany Barnard; Playlist series on Spotify