When I was preaching through the Psalms on Sunday evenings at Tenth Presbyterian Church it was my pattern to close each service with a hymn based on the psalm we were studying. I was surprised at how many such hymns there were. Most psalms have at least one hymn based on them, and some have several, sometimes as many as six or eight. But there was no hymn for Psalm 35.

David is saying is that the fear of the Lord is doing right, that is, that it involves obedience. Moreover, since the fear of the Lord is the enjoyment of the Lord, the way to enjoy the Lord, to "taste and see that he is good," is to obey him. One commentator explains this by saying, "The good you enjoy (v. 12) goes hand in hand with the good you do (v. 14). It is an emphasis which answers the suspicion (first aroused in Eden) that outside the will of God, rather than within it, lies enrichment."4

When I was living in Switzerland in the mid-1960s, I had a friend whose very favorite verse in the Bible was verse 8, at least the first half: "Taste and see that the Lord is good." She liked the strong physical quality of it and most likely, because she was liturgically inclined, viewed its best fulfillment as being in the communion service.

David’s experience shows that this is a psalm for poor men—and poor women too. It is a psalm for you if you are alone or destitute, perhaps having nothing at all, or are not even sure that you will live long. It is for you if you find yourself at the absolute low point in life, which is where David was. Or if you find yourself between a rock, which in this case was King Saul, and a hard place, which was King Achish. It is for you when everything seems against you.

The first half of the psalm has three parts, however, and the first (vv. 1-3) is similar to the introductory call to worship of Psalm 33. Yet there is a difference. The introduction to Psalm 33 is a forthright call to the upright to praise God; it contains six imperatives. The introduction to Psalm 34, which is a testimony by David to God's goodness, begins by David himself praising God and only then invites others to join him as they exalt God's name together.