Tag Archives: All Times

Singing with the King (53) – I Sought the LORD

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

Once again, praise precedes petition:

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. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. (vss. 1-3)

In fact, David encourages those with him to bless the Lord first.

Grief1Now comes the personal request: I sought the LORD and he answered me, He delivered me from all my fears.

The Hebrew word for sought is defined as to seek with care, inquire, consult; and there is an aspect of worship within this word. When we bring our petitions to Him, is it part of worship, or is it playing back a list?

Some of the definitions for answered in Hebrew are to answer, respond, testify, speak and shout. How much does God want to answer your prayers? Is He joyous, would He shout the answer? Should we not shout when He answers our prayers?

There is urgency in He delivered meto snatch away, to tear away, to plunder, to pluck; also to rescue and save. He knows our need, and that it is desperate.

He delivered me from all my fear, terror, and dread (translations of the Hebrew word for fear). What is it that causes you fear or terror? Can you take it to the LORD? We have seen that He will hear—and answer. Don’t let your fear keep you silent.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (Psalm 32:3-4)

But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. (Psalm 39:2-5)

But if I say, “I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it. (Jeremiah 20:9)

Don’t let your sins get in the way seeking the LORD. Or in the way of your deliverance:

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”  And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

Interlude

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. (Psalm 32:5-6)

Singing With the King (52) All Times

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. (Psalm 34:1)

Hebrew PsalmsYears ago I remember Billy Graham talking about one of the ways he did devotions—5 psalms a day and one chapter of Proverbs. So at the end of each month, he would have read through both books. Whenever I am not in front of one of my computers doing my study/devotion/prayer (I am currently working on the Fruit of the Spirit) I use this 5 x 1 study to come into His Presence.

As a result, I have read through the Psalms countless times (at least for me), have been blessed by the LORD in those readings, and I can say that David and I have become best friends. And out of all of the books of the Bible, the Psalms are unique for me. Why?

Although these are songs/prayers that King David wrote, and historically speaking when we read the “I” in the psalm, it is David speaking, have you not put yourself in the first person as the “I” in that verse? David is not just writing about his experiences, he is writing about my experiences, which is why this book is so intensely personal for me.

So what is it that we are doing here? I will extol the LORD. The Hebrew word for extol is most often translated as bless. I will bless the LORD; and it is also defined as kneel.

TimeHow often are we blessing and extolling the LORD? At all times. In Hebrew all times means at all events, all occasions, and at all times. This word is more than a generalization, it can be absolute; and in its definition are “all for every”, and “all the everywhere”. When God says all, He means all.

How does this work out practically in our lives? We can’t just be falling on our knees and blessing Him every moment of every day can we? No, but for each event, every situation that arises, and each place that we are, we can take that as an opportunity to bless Him; and when we bless Him, anyone who is watching may see that we have a relationship with the Most High.

Along the same lines, His praise will always be on my lips.

The word for praise is always translated as praise, but it can be a song of praise, which is what David has given us here.

The Hebrew word for always seems to be even more demanding on our time. It means continuously, continually, in perpetuity. The imagery behind the word means to stretch. When you stretch something, there is no break, no interruption.

Perhaps a way of looking at this is, His praise should be the single strand which stretches throughout my entire life, upon which we hang all other events, happenings and circumstances. This is a radical change in perspective, but isn’t it worth pondering?