Monday Morning Meditation: Redemption (Psalm 34 series)

This is part 6 of the Monday Morning Meditation Psalm 34 series. This will be the final post of this series.

Here are verses 19-22.

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.

This section of the psalm begins with another declaration of God’s deliverance, but the context is a bit different when these four verses are looked at together.

Most scholars believe verse 20 is a prophesy concerning Jesus. John 19 describes how the two others being crucified with Jesus had their legs broken. “But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” Not one of Jesus’ bones was broken, in fulfillment of this prophesy. This is why it is more accurate to say during communion, as Jesus said, “This is my body given for you” (though most pastors say “broken for you”) because not one of Jesus’ bones was broken.

If we look at these 4 verses in the context of this verse speaking of Christ, it sheds a different light.

God will redeems those who follow Him and serve Him. The word translated “redeem” also means “ransom, rescue, deliver.” If we take refuge in Him, as we talked about earlier in the series, we will not be condemned, which also means “to be found guilty or take punishment.” We will not be punished because He has already taken the punishment for us.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV1984) says,

Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

God has ransomed us with His very Son’s life. Isaiah 53:10 says, “it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer.” God so loved us all that it was His will to suffer for us, so that we can find shelter and redemption in God the Father.

If we can see the big picture, despite this world’s troubles, we will be redeemed if we take refuge in Him.

In the end, we win because God wins.


I’ll end this series with the words of Jesus from John 16:33:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Monday Morning Meditation: Close to the Brokenhearted (Psalm 34 series)

This is part 5 of the Monday Morning Meditation Psalm 34 series.

Today’s verses are 15-18.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I used to read passages like this and think, I need to always do all the right things because, otherwise, God won’t see or hear me. That’s what it means to be righteous.

The reason we need Jesus is because we cannot be righteous on our own.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV1984)

Paul talked about “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3:9 (NIV1984)

He also implored Timothy twice to “pursue righteousness” (among other things) through the power of the Holy Spirit, so righteousness, much like freedom, is something we must learn to walk out.

Now let’s focus on the last verse.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

God is in the business of healing the broken. This is why Jesus, who had no sin, became sin for us, so that we would no longer have to live under the power of sin, and no longer be disconnected from our Source of life and our Creator.

If you are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit today, this verse is a powerful reminder that God is near. He liberates and delivers those who are crushed in spirit. You can cry out to Him; He is close and He will answer.

Monday Morning Meditation: The Fear of the Lord (Psalm 34 series)

This is part 4 of the Monday Morning Meditation Psalm 34 series.

Here are today’s verses.

Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

Commentators say David did not have any children when he wrote this. Rather, he is talking to those he brought alongside him (mentioned in verse 3 and discussed in week 1). He emphasizes, “Listen; this is important. Learn this when you are young if possible. Fear God.”

I’ll be very honest and say I don’t completely understand what it means to fear God. I have asked Christians I respect their interpretation of this concept, I’ve listening to podcasts about it and read commentaries. It’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around.

Fear can mean to “cause awe or astonishment, revere and respect.” That, I can understand. But to “be afraid?” I’m just not sure. I talked about this a little last week, as fear was also part of that excerpt.

I think the surrounding verses are very helpful in discerning what God means in this case.

Fearing God, in this case, means being careful of what you say, what you seek, and what you pursue. This is confirmed as well in verses 9-10. We are careful of what we say and what we set our mind to because we are in awe of all God is, all He has done, and all He has yet to do.

It’s interesting to me that David says he will teach them about this fear, not that God will teach them. This is part of why I’ve asked Christians I respect what this means to them. Thus, this week, I’m asking God and you all: what does “fear of the Lord” mean to you? I’m asking God to show me in a new way how to revere, respect and fear Him. I’m also focusing on keeping my heart, my mind and my mouth in check.

Monday Morning Meditation: Taste and See (Psalm 34 series)

This is part 3 of the Monday Morning Meditation Psalm 34 series.

I have seen God’s hand of goodness and provision in about 15 ways this week. It has required a lot of trusting, a lot of waiting, a lot of resting, but it’s been amazing. Our verses for today ring especially true for me (8-10, NIV1984).

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Let’s unpack this.

Taste and see is an invitation. “Taste” can also mean or be translated perceive. This word is only used 10 times in the Old Testament, and this is its only appearance in the book of Psalms.

See” can also mean perceive, find out, learn about or observe.

The psalmist extends an invitation (remember that he is coming alongside someone or several someones). It’s an invitation to experience God with our senses, to observe His goodness.

Part of “taste and see” is also “take refuge.” This phrase “take refuge” also means flee for protection, to put trust in (God), confide or hope in. Refuge: a hiding place. A safe place we return to. A place of trust.

Taste and see, perceive and sense His goodness. Take refuge and be blessed.

It continues: fear Him and lack nothing. Fear: to stand in awe of, to revere, to honor. To be amazed.

Lack nothing. It clarifies in the next verse: no good thing.

“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” is likely my favorite verse in the whole psalm.

Seek God, require Him. Lack no good nothing.

Have you responded to God’s invitation to taste and see? If not, who in your life can you ask to come alongside you and walk with you as you observe and perceive His goodness? If you have experienced this, who can you bring alongside you to taste and see?

Monday Morning Meditation: I Call, I Seek, God Answers (Psalm 34 series)

This is part of the Monday Morning Meditation Psalm 34 series.

In a Freedom Friday from a few weeks back, “You Have Not Because You Ask Not”, I highlighted the song “Came to My Rescue“. I sang this with a group of people recently and could not help but think of these verses from Psalm 34.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

Wow. This is what our Lord is capable of, if we ask.

Remember last week’s post, The Power of Together. This is being spoken to someone or a group of people. Read these verses out loud and ask God to allow faith and trust in rise up in your soul. Pray them with someone, for yourself, for a person in your life who is paralyzed, for the person you are praying with.

God is with you, Look to Him this week. Seek Him. Trust Him. Call on Him; He answers.

Monday Morning Meditation: The Power of Together (Psalm 34 Series)


I’m going to start a little mini-series here for our Monday mornings together where we study a psalm in its entirety. Today, we’re going to begin Psalm 34.

I really love this psalm. I love it so much I decided to memorize it a few years back (only got up to about verse 14). I encourage you to read the whole thing (we’ll be reading this psalm in the NIV1984 translation).

This morning, we’re just going to cover the first 3 verses:

I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.

All psalms were meant to be read and sung. Sometimes, you’ll see a particular tune mentioned. But when I read this out loud a few months back, I noticed something I had never seen before: King David (the author of this psalm) was speaking this psalm to someone.

He begins by praising God, declaring that his soul will constantly speak God’s praise and boast of Him, in hopes that the afflicted will hear and find reason to rejoice. Then he says to the listener: “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” (emphasis mine)

David is emphasizing the power of together.

Our boasting in what God has done, even our soul’s declarations of gratitude, were not just meant to be done in our prayer closet. They were meant to be seen. This psalm calls us to have His praise always on our lips, including in the presence of others.

Who can you bring alongside you today and encourage? Who can you speak to of God’s faithfulness? Who needs to hear you boast in the Lord, even if you’re not feeling as if there’s much to boast about?

During this series, I’m going to encourage you to take the verses mentioned and read them daily. I set up a daily “event” in my Gmail calendar at 6 AM called “Psalm 34” and put the 3 verses in it. I set it to repeat daily and send me an email reminder 5 minutes before to the event, and I cut & paste the 3 verses into the description field. I personally set it to repeat indefinitely, so I can just change the verses next week.

Whether you put them on your bathroom mirror (a low-tech option), on your car dashboard, or set up your own reminder system, I encourage you to read the verses daily. Consider memorizing them. Be reminded of the power of together. And ask God to show you an opportunity to practice this, to come alongside someone and glorify the Lord together.

Have an amazing week!