Psalm 34:4-7 - I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
"I sought the LORD and He answered me." The psalmist David rejoices in his God, who not only hears prayers but answers them, acting in power to help and deliver. But the psalmist does not lay exclusive claim to his divine source of help. The Lord hears all who call on Him. Everyone who looks to Him will shine in the reflection of His radiant love and never have cause to be ashamed.
"This poor man," David calls himself. He cried out in prayer and the Lord saved him "out of all his troubles." That is what God does; He saves. It is the meaning of the Name of Jesus—"God saves." As David was helpless before his foes, so we were helpless before our enemies. Sin, death, and Satan held us trapped and enslaved. Yet before we even cried out to God, He knew our need and sent His Son to deliver us.
On the night He was betrayed into the hands of His enemies, Jesus cried out in prayer to His Heavenly Father. His Father heard, but He did not save His Son. Jesus was arrested, condemned to death, and nailed to a cross. Through Jesus' death, God saved us out of our troubles. By God's grace, through faith in Jesus, our sins are forgiven. By His death and resurrection, Jesus has "abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10b). Radiant in the reflection of Jesus' glory and love, we have no cause for shame.
We will endure earthly troubles, yet we can be certain that "the angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them." When the servant of the prophet Elisha was frightened by a threatening army, the prophet asked God to open the servant's eyes. When his eyes were opened, he saw that the mountains were "full of horses and chariots of fire" surrounding them (2 Kings 6:17b). God's mighty angels are "ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:14b). We know, too, that One who is even mightier guards us, because in Scripture the words "the angel of the LORD" sometimes refer to God Himself (see Genesis 22:11-12, Exodus 3:2-6).
The psalmist cried out to the Lord, and God heard his prayers and delivered him. God hears our prayers, too. Out of His love and grace He sent His Son to deliver us. The holy angels stand ready to serve and guard us. Even though we may at times see only trouble and sorrow, we are surrounded by the God who saves. He has set up His camp around us.
THE PRAYER: Mighty God and Savior, hear my prayer and shelter me with Your love and forgiveness.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. What prayers do you offer God with the hope of being answered in a certain way?
2. In what ways could David consider himself to be a poor man?
3. Do you know people who need to be delivered from something that ensnares their lives? Is there anything you can do to help them get free?
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