My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.
This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
In our previous post, I supplied an introduction to this psalm that may be beneficial for review if you have not read it. Psalms for Psome – Ps 34 – A
Lets continue with Psalm 34:15-18
15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Much could be said about the fact that David ascribes physical descriptions of the King of glory, and some folks have carried it to it’s literal conclusion. This isn’t a proper way of considering this description, other than in it’s application to the Lord Jesus, as He walked amongst us.
David was describing the God of Heaven in ways he could understand and communicate to others, but he certainly was not stating that the Father above had arms and fingernails.
What I would like to consider is the action going on in the verses, what the eyes are doing, what the ears are doing, what the face of the Lord is doing. You see, the term “towards” is ‘el, and is sometimes referring to motion.
The eyes of the Lord are moving toward the righteous. He is not passive, but looking to the righteous, looking to those who follow after Him.
Have you ever longed to be with someone, waiting for them to come home, for the door to open and to come in for the night? Have you prepped a supper for someone to come home to, to enjoy together? To sit with and converse? Is this the attitude that David is describing here in this passage, of the Lords eyes looking towards us, of actively seeking the best for the loved one?
In the next portion of the couplet, the psalmist speaks of “His ears being open to their cry. H7775 (šavʿâ) speaks of the cry of help, and the translators of the ESV have inserted “are open” as being understood from the previous couplet.
When reading the Old Testament, I think some times verbs were not inserted into the passage if they were to be understood by the reader from a previous use in the passage. If this is true, (I am no Hebrew scholar by any stretch of the imagination!), the Lords ears are of the same “attitude” as his eyes, in this passage in relation the the cries of help.
In a crowded room, with conversations buzzing, if my wife or a child, on the other side of the room, mentions my name, I hear it. If it is a cry for help, I am moving towards them before their cry is out of their mouth. My ear is towards them, friends. My ear is towards them.
Yet, to have the face of the Lord against you is some serious stuff. In the life of the righteous, He provides life everlasting. To those who do evil, He will cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
To have the face of the Lord against you will result in the life lived being forgotten. To be of nothing. To be a fact that is not considered on this earth. To be without any weight or substance in on this planet. There may be other consequences of “doing evil”, but in this passage, it is that they are forgotten.
Consider the impact of another’s face. With the slightest movement of a minor muscle with the face, one can discern and anger or a delight, a sorrow or a joy.
The face communicates the heart, and for the face to be spoken of in this passage, denotes the entirety of the persons attitude. For the face of the Lord is against evil doers does not seem to provide much hope for the one doing evil. Repentance and faith in the loving heart of the Father, found in the sacrifice of His dear Son is the only remedy.
He has placed before us life and death. Choose life. Repent of your hatred of Jesus and trust Him as your Lord and Savior.
Our final verse in this post speaks of the Lord’s response to the “evil doer” as he repents from his acts of evil.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
To be brokenhearted is to be near to the heart of God. To be crushed in spirit is to be near salvation.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.