Saul was the first king of a united Israel. He was the first of three kings who reigned over a kingdom that included all twelve of the Israelite tribes as well as the Levites which were not counted in the twelve. From the Levites came the priests and the responsibilities of worship and sacrifice. Toward the end of Saul’s reign David, who had already been anointed by Samuel to become Israel’s next king, was a refugee hiding from King Saul whose kingship was threatened by David.
History shows that David did replace Saul as king after Saul had been killed in battle. The year of that event would be around 1020 BC. For a few years before that event David was running from Saul who was intent on killing him. In 1st Samuel 21:12-14 the Bible tells us that David hid out among the Philistines in the city of Gath. These Philistines were historical enemies of Israel. David feigned insanity to keep the Philistines from killing him. It evidently worked. According to the theologians Psalm 34 was written during these times.
These theologians also break the Psalms into about seven categories. There are:
- Penitential Psalms (7) which display repentance.
- Imprecatory Psalms (9) which display vengeance.
- Degree or ascent Psalms (15) which display growth.
- Hallelujah Psalms (6) which display praise.
- Historical Psalms (3).
- Acrostic Psalms (9) for memory.
- Messianic Psalms (17) which tell of Jesus.
That makes up about half of the psalms. The rest of them are just psalms – I guess. Some include more than one of these categories – some don’t contain any. There are also several different authors:
- David wrote 77.
- Anonymous wrote 37.
- Asaph wrote 12.
- Korah wrote 10.
- Heman, Ethan, Solomon, Moses each wrote 1.
- Hezekiah wrote 10.
This morning we are looking at Psalm 34. It was written by David in the times when he was fleeing from Saul – at least that’s what the theologians say. David’s psalms are definitely the most popular today. His writings were definitely inspired by God and have application for today’s Christian. David’s writings without a doubt rate with the greatest poetic writers of all time.
Because of one verse, it is considered a Messianic Psalm.
So now let’s look at Psalm 34.