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)
Over and again we discover wonderful ways that the Lord delivers His servants from their afflictions and saves them from the hands of their enemies. It was for this reason that the psalmist’s great song of joy and rejoicing rang out with the words, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Ps 34:8)
This call for men to trust in the Lord; to taste of His faithfulness and to see that the Lord is good and gracious, stands in the center of a psalm that begins by blessing the Lord at all times and praising Him continually. It’s a trumpet call for men to glorify the name of the Lord and to lift Him up in a symphony of worship and praise, for He alone is worthy of our honor.
David calls on those who worship God to reverence and respect Him. This is the meaning of the term “fear,” which implies submissive honor, rather than panic. Believers need not dread God, for He is their loving heavenly Father who cares for His children. However, believers should reverence God. “Fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no lack of anything.” (Ps 34:9) This idea of God’s goodness and protection is reinforced in another psalm: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; He withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.” (Ps 84:11)
Having grown up in the outdoors, as a shepherd, David would have been acquainted with lions. We know from his testimony in 1 Sam 17:34-35 that he killed at least one lion that was attacking his sheep. He probably encountered hungry lions more than once. David knew even strong, young lions could go hungry. In contrast to those animals, he was confident that those who seek the Lord lack nothing good for them. “The young lions do without and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.” (Ps 34:10)
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we will always get what we “want” from God. Or, even that what we think our “needs” are will be met. What we truly “need” should always be understood in the context of God’s will for us and our lives. Everyone who belongs to the Lord encounters trials, but He uses them to test our faith and produce endurance in us, therefore we should “consider it all joy” (James 1:2-4). The apostle Paul wrote that earthly sufferings can’t compare to the glory of eternity (Rom 8:18). Further, he assured us that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).
David was a man after God’s own heart who recognized the sustaining hand of the Lord in his own life and gave honor and praise to Him at all times. And like David, we would do well to hide under the shadow of God’s protective arm, to seek Him in the midst of our trials and tribulation, and cry out to the Lord for deliverance from the enemies, into whose path we run – so that we too may rejoice with great joy and encourage others to “taste and see that the Lord is good [and to truly know] how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Ps 34:8)