Summary: The Psalmist highlights the difference it makes in lives by using tongue and time to do right by the LORD God and by doing right by others versus teaming with evildoers to do harm.
MAKING MUSIC FROM SHARPS AND FLATS IN LIFE
Sermons Based on Selected Psalms
Psalms Sermon VII – Psalm 34:11-18
David the shepherd lad who became King of Israel was a music maker. He played a harp – the most popular instrument in Old Testament times. The Book of Psalms is a collection of his compositions inspired by both his life experiences and his majestic moments with the Lord God.
As a sheep herder, the boy David became fascinated with the wonders of the out of doors even as he became familiar with the uniqueness of sheep.
As the one chosen by Samuel to be crowned the next king of Israel, David had no choice but to sharpen his defensive battle skills when Saul threatened his life; he had demonstrated his skills as a shepherd lad when he defended his sheep from the attack of wolves, and when he defended his family by killing their enemy Goliath with one stone fired by his slingshot.
David’s favor with God and the people worsened King Saul’s insanity, making him so blindly jealous that he made David the target of a relentless campaign to destroy the king-to-be. David won the battle; but, more importantly, he won the hearts of the people because he had won the heart of the Lord God who had chosen him.
As king, David ruled righteously in accordance with God’s will; Israel enjoyed the golden years of their history during David’s reign.
Yet, as a man, David sinned; however, as a sinner, he was aware of his need for God’s forgiveness; as a forgiven child of God, he courageously accepted God’s punishment; as one who suffered the consequence of sinning against God, he also accepted the challenge of rebuilding his life for God.
As a Psalmist, David’s innermost thoughts - expressed in the verses of his poetry - have become the greatest collection of spiritual nuggets the world has ever known.
From a lifetime of positive and negative experiences, David has become our hero for making music out of the sharps and flats in life.
Any musician knows that it takes both to make good music. It takes the positives (the sharps) and the negatives (the flats). Arrange them in such a way that they blend into chords, orchestrate the chords into a harmonious melody, and what you get is a work of art that is pleasing to the ear.
Life is like that. The isolated sound of a sharp or the lonesome sound of a flat does nothing for the spirit. Get it all together in conformity with THE Great Composer’s divine plan for our lives, and what you have is harmonious living that is pleasing not only to God but to others as well.
These devotional messages, based on the Book of Psalms, are intended to draw from David’s orchestration of the sharps and flats in his life to help us make music from the sharps and flats in our own lives. Selah.
Psalm 34:11-18 . . .
When you and I were young, the concept of FEAR seldom entered our minds. Of course, some of us might have been afraid of the dark when we were children; there might have been times when we were afraid of high places; or there might have been other things that we were afraid of; but most of these kinds of fear we grew out of.
The concept of FEAR spoken of by the psalmist is a healthy kind of fear - in the sense that, as God’s creation, we ought to REVERENCE our Creator with a great deal of RESPECT.
As a young person, one of the concepts I learned, and one for which I am grateful, was the fear of the Lord. In fact, the Bible teaches us that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
This idea of fearing the Lord does not mean that we crouch in a corner or hide in our room as if God were a giant ogre waiting to pounce on us.
No, it means that we acknowledge God AS owner of His universe in which we live along with everything that is in it; we also acknowledge that we are here because He allowed us to be here; so we go about our lives in “God’s beautiful world” in a way that pleases Him.
If, by the time we become grown-ups, and have reached old age, and we still have not learned the fear of the Lord, the psalmist is saying (v. 11):
“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the Lord.” Did you know that we are never too old to learn? Some of us have learned the hard way that we do not know it all. My opinion as to the meaning of wisdom might be stated in this way: The older I get, the more I realize just how much I do not know. There is so much I still need to learn.