Boris Grisenko: Bless the Lord at all times! When I first read the introduction to Psalm 34, “The song of David as he pretended to be mad before Abimelech, so that he cast him out.” I thought, “What psalm could you write after that?” And as I continued reading, I was very surprised:
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise is always in my mouth ”(Psalm 34: 2).
It seems that what David experienced there was terrible: the danger of death, shame, pretending to be mad and so on – he himself came there and then feared death every day and only when he was sent out did he sigh with relief. And then? He began to bless the Lord! And he declared that he would bless Him at all times! And in good and in evil and in terrible and when he flees into the wilderness like a disgraced refugee. What is there to praise God for here? After all, you can say: “What the Lord has got to do with this? David brought it upon himself with his own actions. ” But even if it were so…
Do you know how many believers walk away from God after committing some sin that people find out about, or not even sins, but a terrible tragic mistake that damages their reputation? They are so ashamed that after that they no longer want to see the believers, they leave the church, they feel terrible shame before God, which drives them farther and farther away. And finally they come straight to the prince of darkness. It did not break David, and he continued to praise the Lord. He found something to praise God for, even in such circumstances.
“My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.” (Psalm 34: 3).
The meek understand David. The humble understand David. And it came to pass, when David did not blaspheme the LORD and depart or ran away from Him but fled from Abimelech and ran to the LORD, then we can do it as well.
No matter what happens to us, our souls will always praise Him! Let us always bless Him who always wants to bless us. And even if we do not see His blessings, but we see some terrible circumstances, as in many parts of Ukraine today, He can turn our thoughts, our eyes, break everything visible in a way that the invisible opens our eyes to see God’s mercy here and now.
Boris Grisenko, Rabbi of KEMO