The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Who is “the righteous person”? You and I know that we are not truly righteous – not in our own right. We may trust in God, and seek to live rightly, according to His ways, but we know that we are not righteous. Our very best is never enough to earn us that title. There was only one truly righteous person – Jesus Christ – and it’s only by aligning ourselves with him that we can ever be considered as righteous.
Jesus himself faced many troubles in his time on earth – targeted and pursued by Jewish authorities who were jealous of his God-given authority and sought to kill him, betrayed and rejected by those he loved, tortured and killed for crimes he was innocent of, and most of all, separated from his heavenly father as he bore in anguish the sins of others and experienced the due punishment for them. He was not spared any of things.
He was, however, ultimately delivered from them. As he rose again three days later, he knew that his work had been done – forgiveness for others had been accomplished by the shedding of his own blood, eternal life had been regained. As he ascended to be with his Heavenly Father, he knew again wonderful intimacy with him – pure, eternal love.
We too may face “many troubles” on earth. We are not promised that we will be spared from them. What troubles do you face at the moment in this earthly life?
We are told that if we follow Jesus, and cling to his pure righteousness alone, we too will one day be delivered from the troubles of this life– we shall rise with him (Romans 6:4) and know pure joy, the perfect love of God the Father, life as it is meant to be – trouble free indeed!
Knowing that we belong to a loving, sacrificial, rescuing heavenly father who has already won forgiveness for us and will one day deliver us from this troublesome world gives us a radically new perspective on all that we struggle with in this life.
Vs 20 confirms for us that this is primarily about Jesus, and that we are only counted as righteous through his suffering and death on the cross. John 19:36 says
These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”
Even as he wrote his own words of praise to God, David was writing wonderful truths that would be fulfilled ultimately in Jesus – the one righteous person, who earned righteousness, forgiveness, eternal life for sinful and foolish people. Praise God!
Read Psalm 34.
In this Psalm, David remembers a time when he was running away from King Saul, who in his jealousy of David’s God-given authority had targeted and was pursuing David to kill him (sound familiar?).
Read through the Psalm and take note of its progression of ideas…
How does David open the Psalm? (vs 1-3)
What does he tell us next? (vs 4-6) How does David describe himself in vs 6?
What does he entreat others to do in vs 7-14?
How does he describe God’s actions in relation to his people in vs 15-22?
What is your response to this Psalm?
Dear Heavenly Father
I praise you that everything I see around me and know to be good is a mere reflection of your perfect holiness. Thank you that the amazing world around me holds just a glimmer of your greatness and beauty. Thank you that you are the giver of life itself, the creator of all that I see and touch and feel and know, and so much more than I can ever comprehend.
Thank you that you have reached out in love to me, to earn forgiveness for me through the shedding of your own son’s blood. Thank you that because of Jesus, I can be counted as “righteous” in your sight. Thank you that when I seek you, I lack no good thing. Thank you that your eyes are always attentive to me, that you hear my cry in the depth of my deepest sorrow, and answer me. Thank you that you have delivered me from my biggest trouble – the grip of sin and death. Thank you that you will deliver me from the troubles of this sinful world and grant me eternal perfect life and love with you.
Please help me to seek refuge in you only and always. Please help me to come to you and to continue to learn what it means to fear and honour you in everything. Please help me to turn from evil and do good, to seek peace and pursue it, to tell of your goodness and might to those who don’t know you. Please help me to call others to come and listen to you, to seek refuge in you, to be delivered by your mighty hand
In Jesus’ Name