Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all, (34:19).
David, the man after God’s own heart, was fraught with trials, adversities and afflictions.
Afflictions/Adversities: “7451. רַע raʿ, רָעָה rāʿāh: An adjective meaning bad, evil. The basic meaning of this word displays ten or more various shades of the meaning of evil according to its contextual usage…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
And left to our own understanding which tends to equate blessings with the absence of pain, this doesn’t add up. Ten or more various shades of evil? What about the blessings of faith? David definitely writes much about His grace and favor bestowed on the righteous, but that did not exclude him from finding himself afflicted. But when we read the Psalms of David, it is clear that his faith spoke louder and carried more weight than his afflictions.
All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You,
Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him,
And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” (35:10).
Afflicted/Poor: “6041. עָנִי ʿāniy: An adjective meaning poor, afflicted. It refers to those who are suffering, in a state of poverty, oppression, misery from various causes: from being poor, needy…unfortunate, in want…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
We all know, Afflictions come in all shapes and sizes. But David also knew truth. While the Afflictions of the righteous may be plenteous, the Lord is faithful to Deliver the Afflicted.
Although the Hebrew language encompasses two different root words that are translated in the NASB as afflictions in Psalm 34 and afflicted in Psalm 35, the meanings share commonality: the righteous are not immune to afflictions; the afflicted encounter a myriad of difficulties and hardships; and the only hope for Deliverance is in the Lord, Who delivers him out of them all.
Consider Him Who Delivers Us Out of All Our Afflictions
- He Delivers the Afflicted to bring about His good.
- “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive,” (Genesis 50:19-20).
- He Delivers the Afflicted from sin and death.
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6).
- He Delivers the Afflicted from the kingdom of darkness.
- For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, (Colossians 1:13).
- He Delivers the Afflicted from temptation.
- No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it, (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- He Delivers the Afflicted through His strength.
- I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13).
- He Delivers the Afflicted that He would be glorified.
- But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it,” (John 11:3-4).
- He Delivers the Afflicted out of poverty into His true riches
- “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer,” (Revelation 2:9).
How do we respond to Him Who Delivers Us Out of All Our Afflictions?
A thought. His Deliverance may not look the way we think it should. But that’s because we tend to focus on ourselves, as well as the here and now. But as we tune our hearts to His Deliverance that is always to bring about His good and to bring Him glory, we will grow in our understanding of His true riches available in the midst of All Our Afflictions.
And as we grow, we will come to embrace that the greatest Deliverance is not when He removes us out of a situation and replaces it with ease and comfort, but it is what He removes from within our hearts, in order that He might replace it with that which resembles His Son.
We love to think of Him working in the midst of All Our Afflictions; working all things together for our good. But wouldn’t the greatest good in His Deliverance be that we become conformed to the image of Christ? The context of Romans 8:28-29 suggests that is so.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son… (Romans 8:28-29).
Is it okay, then, to pray and ask Him to bring us out of our distress? Absolutely. David certainly did.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins, (Psalm 25:16-18).
But notice what David included in his plea; he asked to be forgiven of his sins. David wanted his relationship with his God to be right. Perhaps he even wondered if his afflictions were a result of sin. That’s not a bad place to start.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear, (Isaiah 59:2).
We begin with confession. And from there, we move on to faith; standing on the truth of His Word while we wait for His Deliverance; trusting that His greatest Deliverance in All Our Afflictions will accomplish His perfect will.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, (James 1:2-4).
As we cooperate with His work in our lives, we will surely taste and see His goodness, enabling us to endure All Our Afflictions without want.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want. (34:8-9).
When we are Afflicted, let us ask Him to grow us in our faith to trust His Deliverance in however He deems best, that our faith will speak louder and carry more weight than All Our Afflictions. And let us ask Him to train our spiritual vision, that we would be empowered by His Holy Spirit to look past the temporal troubles here on earth to the eternal glory that awaits us with Him in heaven.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Oh, may we persevere in All Our Afflictions, as we view our circumstances through the lens of eternity. And while we do, may our lives become vessels that bless and praise Him, and encourage others to do the same. Oh, may the way we live become a bold declaration that magnifies the Lord with praise to exalt the faithful righteousness of Him Who Delivers Us Out of All Our Afflictions.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.(34:1-3).
And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness
And Your praise all day long.(35:28).