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34. Psalm 34

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

3O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

6This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

7The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

9O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

15The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

16The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

22The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

15. The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous. The best support of our patience is a firm persuasion that God regards us, and that according as every man perseveres in a course of uprightness and equity, so shall he be preserved in peace and safety under his protection. In order, therefore, that the faithful may not think that they are exposed to the caprice of the world, while they are endeavoring to keep themselves innocent, and that they may not, under the influence of this fear, go astray from the right path, David exhorts them to reflect upon the providence of God, and to rest assured that they are safe under his wings. He says, then, that the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, to preserve them, in order that the good and simple may persevere the more cheerfully in their uprightness. At the same time, he encourages them to supplication and prayer, if at any time the world should unjustly persecute them. In saying that the ears of the Lord are open to their cry, he teaches that the man who is wantonly and unjustly persecuted, will find a ready and suitable remedy in all afflictions, by calling upon God as his avenger. On the other hand, he declares, that although God sometimes appears to wink at the misdeeds of men, and seems to overlook them, because he does not inflict immediate punishment upon them, yet nothing escapes his inspection. Whilst the wicked, says he, by reason of their impunity harden themselves in sin, God is watching, that he may cut off their remembrance from the earth, (1 Peter 5:10.) He speaks particularly of this kind of punishment, because the ungodly not only expect that they shall be happy during their whole life, but also imagine that they shall enjoy immortality in this world. Peter, in his First Epistle, 698698     In his First Epistle, (1 Peter 3:10, 11, 12,) he quotes the 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 verses of this psalm. He quotes from the Septuagint. applies this passage very judiciously, for the purpose of assuaging our sorrows and appeasing our impatience, as often as the pride and arrogance of the wicked may carry us beyond due limits. Nothing is more useful for preserving our moderation than to depend upon God’s help, and having the testimony of a good conscience, to rely upon his judgment. If it is objected, that good men experience the contrary, who, after having been long afflicted, at length find no help or comfort; I reply, that the aid which God affords to the righteous is not always made manifest, nor bestowed in the same measure; and yet he so alleviates their troubles as never to forsake them. Besides, even the best of men often deprive themselves of the help of God; for scarcely one in a hundred perseveres in such a course of integrity as not, by his own fault, to deserve the infliction of some evil upon himself. But as soon as they fall, lest sin should take root in them, God chastises them, and often punishes them more severely than the reprobate, whom he spares to utter destruction. 699699     “Lesquels il espargne pour un temps, afin de les ruiner eternellement.” — “Whom he spares for a time, to destroy them eternally.” — Fr. And yet, however much things may appear to be mingled and confused in the world, good men will find that God has not promised them help in vain against the violence and injuries of the wicked.


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