Psalm 34: 1-8, is this week’s psalm. It seeks to connect the psalm with the brief event in I Samuel 21:10-15 when David pretended to be insane in order escape his captors. The king asks his advisors why they brought a madman to him, “Do I lack madmen that you brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence?”
This story is one of many in the Bible and in Jewish literature in which a Jewish person caught in a position of weakness outwits the supposedly more powerful Gentile.
In I Samuel the king is Achish, however, whoever wrote the superscription for the psalm names him Abimelech, who appears in Gen. 20. The psalm does praise God for his rescuing power.
The psalm begins, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” In verse 3 the psalmist invites us to join him, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” The psalmist, verse 4, testifies that “I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Not only does the Lord deliver us but his angel sets up camp around those who fear him, perhaps thinking of a military camp, and “delivers them their troubles.”
The Lord’s deliverance is so real that the psalmist can taste it. The taste of the Lord’s goodness is the flavor of his praise which continually is in his mouth. In Holy Communion we get a taste of Christ’s goodness as we eat the bread of life and taste the wine, his body and blood given and shed for our life and salvation.