- A psalm of David.1 Written when he faked insanity in front of Abimelech, who reacted by chasing him off.2
These days, I can’t stop singing
- 1 I’m singing happy songs about the LORD all the time.
All the time I’m singing happy songs about him.
- 2 When I brag, I’m bragging about the LORD.
When humble people hear it, they’ll be glad.
- 3 Join me as I honor the LORD.
Let’s boost his name and sing his praises
- 4 I called for the LORD, and he answered me.
I was afraid, and he threw my fears away.
- 5 When people turn to him, their faces reflect his glory.
They have no reason to look depressed.
I was a sorry soul
- 6 This sorry soul called to the LORD,
And the LORD actually heard him.
The LORD snatched him out of his troubles,
And saved him.
- 7 The LORD’s angel pitches his tent
Beside those who respect the LORD.
Then when people need a rescue,
He’s right there to save them.
- 8 Sample the LORD. You’ll see that he’s good.
You’ll develop a taste for him.
It’s a happy human being
Who can trust him for protection.
- 9 I’ll tell you this, good people.
Respect the LORD.
Because if you do,
You’ll have everything you need.
- 10 Even lions young and strong
Get hungry and starve.
But people who look to the LORD for help
Will never run out of God’s goodness.
- 11 Gather round me, kiddos, and listen up.
I’m here to teach you respect for the LORD.
- 12 Do you want to live and live it up
For long and happy years to come?
- 13 Watch your mouth. Don’t talk trash.
And don’t let those lips start lying.
- 14 Run from evil. Chase what’s good.
Hunt for peace, and don’t stop till you find it.
- 15 The LORD keeps an eye on good people.
He tunes his ears to the sound of their voices.
- 16 The LORD turns his back on evil people.
He does it so the world will do the same,
And forget those bad folks ever lived.
- 17 When good people call on the LORD, he hears.
Whatever the trouble, he gets them through.
Rescuing the broken and crushed
- 18 He’s the LORD of the brokenhearted.
He comes to the rescue
Of spirits crushed and hurting.
- 19 Misery hammers good people.
They can’t escape the pain.
But the LORD always gets them through.
- 20 Every bone survives intact.
Not a single bone gets broken.
- 21 Wickedness will kill the wicked.
On top of that, they’ll be condemned
for hating godly people.
- 22 But if you’re devoted to the LORD,
He’ll save you.
If you trust him to protect you, he will.
And no one will condemn you.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
Many Bible experts say this refers to a story in 1 Samuel 21, where the man seems to go by a different name: Achish, king of the Philistine city of Gath. David had fled from his fellow Israelite, King Saul, who wanted to kill him. Actually, Saul seemed the insane one. He became insanely jealous of David’s popularity. It’s hard to compete with a teenage giant killer. David ended up on the run in Philistine territory, in the hometown of the giant he killed: Goliath. David feared the Philistine king would execute him. So David pretended to be crazy. The king essentially responded by telling the officials who arrested him, “Don’t I have enough crazy people around me already? Do I really need one more?” David was released to kill more Philistines. In time, as Israel’s king, he put them in their place by controlling their borders.