Psalm 34 - God Protects the Righteous




[New International Version] Psalm 34 belongs to Book I of the Book of Psalms. God is on the side of the poor and afflicted, caring for and protecting them.

The PS 34 belongs to Book I of the Book of PS, composed of a collection of 150 texts arranged by five poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action, is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book I encompasses Psalms 1 to 41. The PS 34 is divided into 23 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience.

They portray the commoner with his faults, insecurities, fears, and hopes. Even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing.

“There are enemies or friends; there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan.

Psalm 34 - God protects the Righteous

1  From David, when he pretended to be mad before Abimelech and was
cast out by him, he departed.

2  I will bless the Lord at all times;
your praise will always be in my mouth.

3  My soul rejoices in the Lord.
May the humble hear it and rejoice.

4  Exalt the Lord with me;
let us all together exalt his name.

5  I sought the Lord, and He answered me: He
delivered me from all my fears.

6  Those who beheld him were radiant,
and their faces will not be disappointed.

7  This poor man cried, and the Lord heard
and saved him from all his troubles.

8  The angel of the Lord pitches his tent
around those who fear him and delivers them from danger.

9  Taste and see how good the Lord is;
happy the man who takes refuge in it.

10  Fear the Lord, you who are devoted to him,
for those who fear him lack nothing.

11  The rich are impoverished and go hungry,
but those who seek the Lord will lack no good.

12  Come, children, hear me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

13  Who does not enjoy life
and would not like to have long days of prosperity?

14  So keep your tongue from evil
and let your lips avoid lying words.

15  Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and strive for it.

16  The eyes of the Lord are turned to the righteous,
and his ears to their cry.

17  The face of the Lord turns against those who do evil,
to erase their memory from the earth.

18  The righteous cried out, and the Lord heard
and delivered them from all their troubles.

19  The Lord is near to troubled hearts,
and He saves those broken in spirit.

20  Many are the tribulations of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.

21  He keeps all his bones;
not a single one of them will be broken.

22  Wickedness will eventually kill the wrongdoer;
and those who hate the righteous will therefore be condemned.

23  The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
those who trust in him will not be condemned.

Meaning and interpretation

Psalm 34 is an individual thanksgiving prayer that follows a wise style. This Psalm reveals that God is on the side of the poor and afflicted, caring for and protecting them.

God is the one who guarantees and carries out justice, which, in the Bible, means fundamental morality. It is implied that these are good and naturally trust in God. As for the wicked, God allows their destiny to be traced by the path and laws integral to their evil and transforms it into a precise justice mechanism.

The angels represent a mediation between God and humans that may have several objectives, such as ensuring communication or protection. This mediating function of protective angels can be performed by human beings or even the realities of nature.

The Sapiential Psalms are books of Sacred Scripture ( Libri Sapientiales ) that contain, above all, moral sentences from ancient Israel - Proverbs, Job, Qohelet (Ecclesiastes), Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Song of Songs, Wisdom. These prayers are filled with ancient inspiration, wisdom, life experiences, and people’s history. They analyze human behaviorethical choices and consequences, and the search for the meaning of life and death for each of us and as a society.

Various themes are addressed in these Psalms, such as justice/injustice; sinful/righteous; wisdom/foolishness; bad/good; fidelity/infidelity; the honor or lack of it, the virtue that exists in prudence in speaking, in being fair, in knowing how to be rich. The existence of God is never questioned. He is Creator, Lord, Judge, Wise.

The Wisdom Psalms are also understood as a guide for everyone to meditate on the issues of their daily lives and the mysteries of life. The Psalmist uses his own and others’ experiences to discerning the path based on correct moral principles. They are based on the assumption that what we do in this world, we pay for in this life. The wisdom style appears in Ps 1; 14; 34; 36; 37; 39; 49; 53; 73; 74.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the commoner, with his failures, insecurities, fears, and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

Despite being written in Antiquity, the Psalms still movesensitizeawaken feelingsinspire and enchant. In them, we can identify anguish and joy, deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom, and prophetic words.

Written for different situations, some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life; others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms comprises a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God. The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses, and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentationsupplicationpraise, and gratitude.

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine, and prayer is the power of the word. Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word, or image addressed to God is called prayer. Through it, we come into contact with our God within; therefore, it is powerful in transforming life. Prayer can produce miracles, turn dreams into reality, and give us hope for changeharmony, and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God. For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for spiritual self-protection, family protection, and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves, from this peace, well-being, hope, and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

Faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination. The Psalms will guide you toward peace and communion with higher energy.