|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:1-10 If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Php 4:11-18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.
Verse 4. - I sought the Lord, and he heard me. To "seek the Lord" is not merely to trust in him, but to fly to him, and make our requests of him in our troubles. David apparently speaks of some special occasion on which he "sought the Lord," and some special request which he made of him, but does not tell us what the occasion or request was. We may presume that it was in some way connected with his "escape to the cave Adullam" (1 Samuel 22:1). And delivered me from all my fears; literally, frown all the things which I feared (comp. Isaiah 66:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I sought the Lord, and he heard me,.... Not that he sought the Lord publicly in his house and ordinances, for he was now at Gath; but privately by prayer and supplication; and that not vocally, but mentally; for he was in the midst of the servants of the king of Gath; yet earnestly, diligently, and with his whole heart, being in great distress; when it was right to seek the Lord, and which showed him to be a good man; and the Lord heard and answered even his silent groans, which could not be uttered;
and delivered me from all my fear; of being seized on by Achish, king of Gath, and of losing his life for killing Goliath: and many are the fears of God's people, both from within and from without, by reason of sin, Satan, and the world; but the Lord saves them out of the hands of all their enemies, grants them his presence, and shows them their interest in himself, which, scatters all their fears.
The Treasury of David
4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
"I sought the Lord, and he heard me." It must have been in a very confused manner that David prayed, and there must have been much of self-sufficiency in his prayer, or he would not have resorted to methods of such dubious morality as pretending to be mad and behaving as a lunatic; yet his poor limping prayer had an acceptance and brought him succour: the more reason for them celebrating the abounding mercy of the Lord. We may seek God even when we have sinned. If sin could blockade the mercy-seat it would be all over with us, but the mercy is that there are gifts even for the rebellious, and an advocate for men who sin. "And delivered me from all my fears." God makes a perfect work of it. He clears away both our fears and their causes, all of them without exception. Glory be to his name, prayer sweeps the field, slays all the enemies and even buries their bones. Note the egoism of this verse and of those preceding it; we need not blush to speak of ourselves when in so doing we honestly aim at glorifying God, and not at exalting ourselves. Some are foolishly squeamish upon this point, but they should remember that when modesty robs God it is most immodest.
"They looked unto him, and were lightened." The Psalmist avows that his case was not at all peculiar, it was matched in the lives of all the faithful; they too, each one of them on looking to their Lord were brightened up, their faces began to shine, their spirits were uplifted. What a means of blessing one look at the Lord may be! There is life, light, liberty, love, everything in fact, in a look at the crucified One. Never did a sore heart look in vain to the good Physician; never a dying soul turned its darkening eye to the brazen serpent to find its virtue gone. "And their faces were not ashamed." Their faces were covered with joy but not with blushes. He who trusts in God has no need to be ashamed of his confidence, time and eternity will both justify his reliance.
"This poor man cried." Here he returns to his own case. He was poor indeed, and so utterly friendless that his life was in great jeopardy; but he cried in his heart to the protector of his people and found relief. His prayer was a cry, for brevity and bitterness, for earnestness and simplicity, for artlessness and grief; it was a poor man's cry, but it was none the less powerful with heaven, for "the Lord heard him," and to be heard of God is to be delivered; and so it is added the Lord "saved him out of all his troubles." At once and altogether David was clean rid of all his woes. The Lord sweeps our griefs away as men destroy a hive of hornets, or as the winds clear away the mists. Prayer can clear us of troubles as easily as the Lord made a riddance of the frogs and flies of Egypt when Moses entreated him. This verse is the Psalmists' own personal testimony: he being dead yet speaketh. Let the afflicted reader take heart and be of good courage.
"The angel of the Lord." The covenant angel, the Lord Jesus, at the head of all the bands of heaven, surrounds with his army the dwellings of the saints. Like hosts entrenched so are the ministering spirits encamped around the Lord's chosen, to serve and succour, to defend and console them. "Encampeth round about them that fear him." On every side the watch is kept by warriors of sleepless eyes, and the Captain of the host is one whose prowess none can resist. "And delivereth them." We little know how many providential deliverances we owe to those unseen hands which are charged to bear us up lest we dash our foot against a stone.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. delivered … fears—as well as actual evil (Ps 64:1).
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