Links of Grace
Psalm 34:1-10
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.…

I. In this hymn we have first of all PRAISE. Praise is not an impulse, or an outburst of enthusiasm soon to die out, but it is the expression of the heart and the exercise of the life. It is good to have stated times for praise, but when the soul is in true fellowship with God it will find "continual" reason for praising him. "Praise" is for "all times," because God fills "all times." Thanksgiving has respect to special times, and to what God has done for us, but praise, in its highest sense, is called forth by contemplation of God, as he is in himself - infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his Being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him," and if we truly fear him we shall learn the "secret" of praising him "continually."

II. From praise the psalmist proceeds to CONFESSION. He does not speak of himself. When he does so it is not to exalt, but to humble himself. "Boasting is excluded." But he speaks of God, and proclaims with gratitude and joy his glorious Name. Whensoever we exalt God, there will be sure to be sympathizers. The confession of our faith will call forth like confessions from others, and "the humble shall be glad." When Paul was converted there were some who were "amazed," and others who were "afraid;" but when they knew the truth, "that he which persecuted the Churches in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed," then, says Paul, "they glorified God in me" (Galatians 1:23).

III. The psalmist next advances to FELLOWSHIP. (Ver. 3.) "It is not good for man to be alone." This holds true of religion. There is something inspiring and comforting in being associated with others in worship. What we have found true, others also have found true; what we have seen of the glory of God, others also have seen, and with one mind and one heart we can rejoice together. We cannot by anything we do make God greater than he is, but we can "magnify" him as we make his glory more widely known; we can "exalt his Name" as we make his character stand higher in the sight of men, and as we more fully manifest our devotion to him as the Supreme Object of our trust and love. Thus not only with God's people on earth, but "with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify God's glorious Name."

IV. Lastly, we find here GRATEFUL COMMEMORATION OF DELIVERANCE. First the psalmist speaks for himself (ver. 4). But what is true of one is true of many (ver. 5). Let each of us put himself in "this poor man's" place. Recall the peril and the prayer. Give thanks for the gracious deliverance. There may have been times when we too may have been in sore straits. In our perplexity and fear we may have resorted to our own devices, and stained our souls with sin. But God is merciful. He did not cast us off. When we cried to him, he forgave us our iniquity, and delivered us from all our fears. God's deliverances bring gladness. We see in them the outshining of his love. We have looked to him in faith, and he has looked on us in mercy. His response has been quick and gracious - as when the wounded Israelites looked to the brazen serpent, and were healed (Numbers 21:9); as when Gideon looked to God, and was made strong (Judges 6:13, 14). There is not only the grateful acknowledgment of past deliverances, but the sweet sense of security for all time to come, under the loving guardianship of God (ver. 27). Whether we take "the angel" here as one of the angelic host, or as the angel of Jehovah, the great Head and Lord of all, the meaning is the same. The great truth taught is the same which we find so often in the New Testament, as in the Hebrews, where it is said of the angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1.,14); and in John's Gospel, where we find our Lord saying, conceding his people, I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28). - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.} I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

WEB: I will bless Yahweh at all times. His praise will always be in my mouth.

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