After he defeated Goliath, David's success in battle and his fame grew among the people of Israel. They sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands,” 1 Samuel 18:7. The Bible says that, “8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David,” 1 Samuel 18:8-9. Saul's feelings eventually transformed into a murderous jealousy. Although Saul's son Jonathan was David's best friend, he realized quickly that only GOD could save him from the hand of Saul.
The book of 1 Samuel chapters 18 to 31 tells of all the trials David faced on the road to kingship; Psalms unveils his response. For example, Psalm 59, was written when Saul sent men to watch David's house in order to kill him (1 Samuel 19:11-18). Psalm 56 was written when David fled to the land of the Philistines, knowing that Saul would never pursue him in enemy territory, (1 Samuel 21:10-12). There, he feigns insanity, hoping that the Philistine King will spare his life. It is here that he writes Psalm 34. He begins with a declaration of praise, “I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips,” Psalm 34:1. He exhorts the reader to join him in worship, “3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together,” Psalm 34:3. He makes a bold statement of faith, “8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing,” Psalm 34:8-10. He acknowledges GOD's faithfulness and justice; “15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth,” Psalm 34:15-16. He notes His responsiveness and compassion; “17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” Psalm 34:17-18. He concludes with a tenacious statement of faith, “22 The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned,” Psalm 34:22.
David chose to praise GOD, to encourage others to worship Him, to declare his faith in Him, to acknowledge GOD's character and to stand firm in the promises of GOD in the midst of the storm. At the end of 1 Samuel 31, and the beginning of 2 Samuel, Saul is dead, David is anointed as King over Judah and Israel (1 Samuel 31 to 2 Samuel 5). God's promises NEVER fail. Take the opportunity to draw closer to GOD, praise Him in the storm and watch Him defeat your enemies, bring victory to your life and equip you with a powerful testimony and unshakeable faith!