The psalter contains fourteen psalms introduced by words linking them to incidents in the life of King David.1 These introductions are not always helpful for understanding the psalms they introduce, but sometimes they are, and that is undoubtedly the situation here. The title to Psalm 34 says that it is written of the time when David "feigned insanity before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.”

Yesterday we said that the first category of God’s blessings is God’s watchfulness over us. Today we look at the other two categories.

2. God's protection. The second blessing in these verses is that God protects his people, foiling the plans of their enemies and turning back their enemies' attempts to harm them.

Having spoken of God's providence in thwarting the contrary and hostile plans of the surrounding nations and of firmly establishing his own good purposes for his people, the writer naturally turns to God's special care of these people, which is what the next stanza (vv. 12-19) explicitly describes.

1. Creation (vv. 6-9). The first and most obvious example of the unity of God's word and works is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the psalmist turns to it naturally. Genesis 1, which these verses echo, says that God created the heavens and earth by speaking. The words "And [or then] God said" occur eight times in that chapter in regard to God's creating something.

Verse 3 encourages us to sing a “new song" to God. That is an unusual thing to say, and there have been various explanations of what the author meant by "new." At one point Alexander Maclaren suggested that it might be that this is the first psalm like this in the Psalter.1 Others suggest that the psalm is a new telling of Genesis 1 and Exodus 15, which are echoed in the psalm's main section. It is more likely, however, that "new song" simply means that every praise song should emerge from a fresh awareness of God's grace.