Psalm 34

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,

for those who fear him have no lack!

The young lions suffer want and hunger;

but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psalm 34:8-10, ESV

There aren’t many points where everyone agrees these days, but you won’t find a large base of support for fear. Fear is almost universally viewed as an obstacle to reaching our goals, as a threat to being at our best. We’re told to face our fears with courage. We’re told to choose faith over fear. The Scriptures tell us famously in Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened.” And then in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

You won’t find many voices speaking out in favor of fear, but here in Psalm 34, we do find one. David comes to the height of this song, extolling the goodness of God. Taste and see! If you have any personal experience with the Lord, then you know that He is good! If you have ever sought refuge in the Lord, then you know that you are blessed! Then, in the midst of this overwhelmingly positive praise is a word that doesn’t usually seem positive at all…fear. “Fear the Lord” is David’s call because “those who fear him have no lack!” It’s clear from Psalm 34 that to “fear the Lord” is not something to be avoided but something to be celebrated. Why? Because fearing the Lord doesn’t steal your joy like fearing anything or anyone else does. Fearing the Lord secures your joy.

In verses 9 and 10, those who lack no good thing are categorized in two ways: as those who fear the Lord and as those who seek the Lord. Fearing the Lord and seeking the Lord go hand in hand. Fearing the Lord isn’t the type of fear that causes us to run and hide from Him. It’s the type of fear that leads us to seek Him out, to pursue a closer walk with Him. Take a look at verse 4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Fearing the Lord means seeking the Lord, and seeking the Lord is the only way to be free of whatever else it is you fear. The Lord is a refuge. The Lord is good. Fear Him, and He will deliver you from all your fears.

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