Psalm 34:17-20 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Looking at this passage these verses go together for the sake of our discussion. Again we see David talking about the righteous, those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We see what we already looked at in verse 15 at the start of verse 17 when David says “the righteous cry out and the Lord hears them.” Verse 15 also told us that he hears the righteous cry but we see in verse 17 David takes it a step farther. David tells us here that “he delivers them from all their troubles.” This is a point that is often misunderstood by Christians who read this passage.
They can be confused even more when they read on to verse 19 and see when David says “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
We can not read this passage and think if we cry out to God he will hear us and take us out of all of our problems. Problems are part of the Christian walk. They are used to test our faith, they are used to produce perseverance and they are used to mature us as Christians. Sometimes he does deliver us from our problems and sometimes he molds us as we go through our problems.
When you look at the passage in it’s original text you see that the tense is the perfect tense, meaning it has already happened. When you understand that it puts things in a way that is easier to understand. The moment you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior he delivered you from all of your troubles. He paid the your debt a long time ago on Calvary. A debt you could not pay on your own. Only the blood of Jesus could wipe away your sin. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ could bring you into right standing with God. The moment that happened you were delivered from the grasp of Satan. You were no longer an enemy of God but an enemy of the devil.
You will still face trials and troubles. You will still feel hurt, suffering, pain and lost. The thing is this world no longer has power over you! You were bought and paid and full by Jesus. I love what Paul tells us in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” You may go through some “stuff” while you are here on this Earth. You may go through some things you really don’t want to experience, but you have been delivered. Your future is changed because of Jesus history. You are believed from the life that lead to death, physically and spiritually. Your troubles are gone because heaven and the present of the Lord Almighty awaits you.
I love the promise that is given to us in the first part of verse 18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” My God is omnipresent, this means He is everywhere! There is no where that you can go that God is not there. I also know that when I was saved God gave me the Holy Spirit to live inside of me! Have you ever stopped and thought about that promise? You have the Spirit of God living inside of you! The power of God working in your life daily, hourly, every minute, every second, there for you.
When we face trials and troubles we need to remember that. When things go the way God knew they would but we didn’t really want them to and we are crushed He is there. I love the KJV of John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” When you are crushed, when you feel devastated when it seems all is lost, the Holy Spirit is there with you! He will save you, he will help you endure, he will carry you through!
I love when verse 19 says “the righteous person may have many troubles, but.” There is that small little word again that changes everything in a split second. In the time it takes for you to speak “but” everything turns upside down and right side up. You will face troubles, and many of us will face many troubles, but in the end He delivers us from it all.
Verse 20 is one that is interesting. It is really difficult to pin down what David is trying to get across. Some theologians say that David is referring to the fact that even though he had been through so much that God had delivered him without one bone being broken. Others though see the it is a prophecy of Jesus not he cross. The fact that Jesus died on the cross and not one of his legs had to be broken as was usually required.
Usually when someone was hung on a cross it wasn’t the wounds from the nails that killed them. Usually the would die of suffocation. It sounds strange but as they hung on the cross they would start to struggle to breath and would have to lift themselves up to be able to get a breath. When they were no longer strong enough to lift themselves up they could not take a breath sufficient to keep them alive so they would die. Many times when death didn’t come soon enough the soldiers would come and break their legs so they were unable to lift themselves and would die a quicker death.
John tells us in chapter 19 verse 33 “But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” They didn’t kill Jesus, he gave up his life. I love that fact. Earlier in John, chapter 10 verses 17-18 He says, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” Jesus wasn’t killed, Jesus laid down his life for you and me!
What is really cool if you study a little deeper is that you find when a sacrifice was made before Jesus’ death the animal had to meet specific qualities. They had to be healthy and could not have any broken bones.
Another interesting interpretation of David’s writing is that he is referring to our bodies when we are called away from our physical bodies. Do you want to know the answer? Well too bad, because I don’t know for sure. I think this is a great example of something that you can read over and spend some time studying and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and guide and direct your thoughts.
I do know this though, I am saved! I am delivered and one day I will be made perfect! Bless God!
Things to Think About
1.) Do these verses confuse you? What do you feel the Holy Spirit is telling you as you read them?
2.) Give one other example from scripture that you have read and it really didn’t makes sense to you or was hard for you to really understand. Spend some time reading it and praying that the Holy Spirit will guide your thoughts and understand and come back and write down what he leads you to think.
3.) We are on a journey. We may have some car trouble, flats, and other troubles along the way but if we are righteous in God’s eyes we will make it home and how wonderful that will be. What are two big troubles you have have faced and how has God molded you as you went through them?