A Psalm of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed. “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
After courageously conquering Goliath, David is pulled from his solitary shepherd’s post and set in the middle of the noise and activity of Saul’s palace. Whereas sheep would have quietly nodded their thanks for being rescued from a bear or a lion, the nation of Israel loudly sang of their new hero: Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his TEN thousands! Moments that previously would have been spent meditating are now busily amused with countless entertainments reserved for royalty.
During this time in David’s life (1 Samuel 17-21) David’s music focused mainly on soothing the nerves of a very troubled King Saul. Although we can’t rule out the many Psalms that David may have composed before entering Saul’s house, we do know for certain that there are NO Psalms especially written and recorded in Scripture for Saul. I believe that when David began to play for Saul, he ceased to praise the Lord, and none of those lyrics are preserved. Music meant for God and music meant for men (the world) are different, and they are separate.
Psalm 34 is the first Psalm identified (in the order the Bible gives them) as a praise to the LORD after David’s rise to fame after Goliath. It breaks a several years-long silence in the melody of David’s life. His career had blossomed, his popularity was rising, his estate was comfortable; but his worship was quiet. So God chased him down to Gath.
Now, what God does to David to reignite his passion and praise is something unique to David. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake,” (Hebrews 1:1) will intervene in an individual way for you also. I’m thankful that God will stir up the stagnant waters. (John 5)
What bothers me is that every Christian is capable of experiencing ‘silent years’. Sometimes we don’t even know it is happening. Life gets in the way, and our prayers get fewer and less personal. The bookmark in our Bible doesn’t move for days on end. Singing in church feels uncomfortable, since the last tune we hummed was off the classic rock station. We let days passively and quietly slip by.
“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8
May God save us from everything that would take away our song, and keep us in wonder and awe at our amazing Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!