Psalms 34: Take Refuge in the Lord

Psalms 34:22 (CSB) The LORD redeems the life of his servants, and all who take refuge in him will not be punished.

Often I’ll get to the end of a Scripture like this one, and the immediate question comes to mind, “how do I take refuge in the Lord so that I will be redeemed, rescued from the punishment of the wicked?”. 

Then, by the Spirit’s help, I look back over the entire Scripture and realize the answers to the question are right there in the Manual. Psalms 34 tells us not only that we will be given refuge from the punishment of the wicked, but it also tells us how all through the entire Psalm. Only at the end do we realize that those who are acting like the Psalm instructs will be given refuge. 

Let’s be super clear: Refuge is not given because we acted like Psalms 34. Refuge is given to those acting like Psalms 34 because those acting like Psalms 34 are those who love God and have been transformed by his redeeming love, so they are a worshiping people who delight to do what Psalms 34 teaches. 

Remember, the indicative comes before the imperative, and we can never reverse that order. Our identity precedes the commands and those who are God’s do God’s things and find that he is their refuge. 

So, how must God’s people act in order to find they are under the refuge of God when the punishment of the wicked comes?

  1. God’s people worship, boast in, and exalt the Lord God. V. 1-3
    1. God’s people have been so transformed that their first response in all things is worship. 
  2. God’s people seek the Lord, look to him, cry out to him, lack nothing good for them, and find he encamps around them. V. 4-7, 10
  3. God’s people delight in the goodness of God and fear him. V. 8-9
  4. God’s people listen to instruction from his prophets/teachers and keep themselves from sin, and pursue God’s good. V. 11-14
  5. God’s people have God’s attention at all times, and thus when they call on him, he responds to them because he is near. V. 15-18
  6. God’s people have God’s protection from evil. V. 19-20
  7. God sees to it that evil will eventually befall the wicked who delight in evil, but that evil will not befall his people. V. 21

NOTE: The last two (6-7) are not things we do, they are just a glorious benefit of belonging to Jesus by faith, and David throws it in there like a cherry on a sundae. Bonus!


God’s people act like God’s people and God just cares for them. 

How do we come under God’s refuge? Come to Jesus by faith, and then live it out in joy like Psalms 34 says, and you’ll find that surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

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