David was a man who experienced a closeness to the Lord. He was a man who blessed the Lord at all times, and songs of praise were continually on his lips. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. Exalt the Lord with me, and let’s exalt His name together.” (Ps 34:1-3)
David acknowledged that the Lord is close to those that are humble of heart, and who are ready and willing to seek the Lord in times of distress and danger. He was a man who feared his God and held fast to His precious promises. He had witnessed God’s faithfulness on many occasions and David trusted in the Lord’s deliverance, when his own, frail heart was fainting.. from fear of what was coming on the earth.
“I sought the Lord and He answered me, and rescued me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. This wretched man cried out, 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 rescues them.” (Ps 34:4-7)
Like so many of us, David sought the Lord, and was able to testify: the Lord heard and answered me, and delivered me from all my fears (Ps 34:4). Jesus Himself told us: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8) We are to ask and keep on asking, with full assurance that He hears our cry and answers the prayer that is offered in faith, and in line with His will. We are to apply ourselves diligently and earnestly, as we search out all the jewels and the little surprises that are hidden in the Word of God and which helps to establish our faith in our heavenly Father.
We are to knock with patient endurance and steadfast perseverance even when the circumstances of life test our faith and seek to sap our strength. We are to knock and keep on knocking even when the prowling enemy of our soul tries to cause our hearts to faint. And even when God’s presence seems very far removed from us we are to knock and knock and keep on knocking, for the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and such endurance must finish its work in us, so that we may become mature and complete, lacking nothing, as we tightly cling to His all-sufficiency (James 1:2-4).
No wonder David was able to rejoice that those who look for the Lord are filled with joyful hope. No surprise that he was able to proclaim that the faces of those that trust the Lord will shine with exultant radiance (Ps 34:5). There is no reason to be downcast if we look to the Lord in prayer. The psalmist describes his depression he describes his soul as “cast down” (Ps 42), but then he decides to talk to God and place his hope in Him, resulting in praise instead of pity.
David cried out as a “wretched man” reflecting an awareness that he has nothing to offer God in return for assistance, and “the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Ps 34:6) No one is exempt from trouble (John 16:33), but no Christian must face trouble alone (Matt 28:20). The Lord is always near, and if He chooses to deliver His child from trouble, He will do so. However, we cannot dictate to the Lord. When we pray, we should do so humbly, and pray as did our Lord in the garden of Gethsemane: “Your will be done” (Matt 26:42).
The eyes of the Lord are forever on those that hope in His unfailing love and God dispatches ministering angels to protect His children, who trust in His name. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” (Ps 34:7) God’s holy angels are ministering servants sent forth to render service to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They are a flame of fire that acts as a defense against the invisible forces of evil and stand guard against malevolent spirits that seek to do them harm.
“The Angel of the Lord” is not merely a reference to one of God’s many ministering spirits. This is an allusion to the eternal Son of God; The Second Person of the Holy Trinity; The Pre-incarnate Christ Who encamps around those that fear Him, and delivers them all. Despite the many appearances of the Angel of the Lord in Old Testament times, He never appears in the New, after the incarnation of Christ, and we who have been born-again, into the family of God, have no need for a visitation from the Angel of the Lord.. because He was born into the world as Jesus Christ and because we have His Holy Spirit dwelling within, as our ever-present guard and guide.
We also have Christ’s promise that He is never far from any of us and will never leave us nor forsake us. We have His assurance that nothing can pluck us out of His hand, and nothing can pluck us out of our Father’s hand. “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.” (Ps 33:18) The psalmist rejoiced that the Angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear Him, and we can also rejoice with exceeding great joy that the Spirit of Christ has taken up permanent residence within our heart and is living in us and working through us because “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4).
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