I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
The superscription of the psalm places it within a particular life situation of King David when he tricked King Abimelech by pretending to be a mad person, so that he drove him out, and he went away. The only story in the biblical text that might be associated with Psalm 34’s superscription is found in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. Though superscriptions are not part of the original text, they provide us with the clues of the historical context of the text. This is a psalm of thanksgiving, written by an individual but inviting the community to join in praising Yahweh. These two lines repeat the same thought in different words and this is what we call parallelism in Hebrew poetry. The psalmist says that he “will bless Yahweh at all times.” The Hebrew word used for ‘bless’ is barak and is closely related to berak which means to kneel. When the psalmist says that he will bless Yahweh, barak suggests that he will kneel in homage to Yahweh as a demonstration of reverence and an expression of praise. The psalmist then goes on to say, “His praise will always be in my mouth.” The Hebrew word for praise is tehillah and is closely related to the Hebrew word hallel, which means praise. This is where the word hallelujah comes so it means “praise the Lord.” We bless and praise God because He is worthy our praise as His creatures. Brothers and sisters we might face problems in this world but today remember to bless and praise the Lord for who you are. They are many things to be grateful of in life regardless of the daily challenges we face. Today let us take time to remember our brothers and sisters in Turkey and Syria following the earthquake that took place this week.
We pray for the people of Central Turkey and North West Syria, whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake. Be present, O Lord, our Good Shepherd, to bring comfort, relief, shelter and human kindness. Shield the people who suffer, console those who are bereaved, prosper the provision of relief, strengthen the work of emergency teams, and shine your light and hope in the midst of despair, and, We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
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