The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Psalm 34:19

Psalm 34 is funny to me because of the setting that it comes out of. David, fleeing from his rival Saul finds himself in the presence of Achish, a Philistine king. In order to survive the encounter, David acts crazy, drooling on himself and scratching at the doorposts. But out of that funny situation, a serious meditation arises.

Christians often fancy themselves as dignified witnesses of the word of God, standing tall and proud even in the face of death. Don’t forget our great example, Jesus. Yes, he was stripped naked and publicly flogged and executed in the day of his death. This lends him some dignity as a martyr, as a victim. However, he was also mocked and derided while he was alive! He suffered mistreatment and gossip and bad talk against him his entire ministry.

Dignity cannot take priority over our purpose or our continued work for the Lord. As David later said when he was “humiliated” while worshipping the Lord: “I will become more undignified than this.”

After all, if pride and dignity could be found within, no one would desire God’s approval as a righteous person. But as it is, when we reflect on our own actions, we know we are failures, we are ashamed, we are weak. We need a victorious, glorious, powerful God to save us from our sins! Nothing could be more undignified than having someone fix your problems for you. Thank God that he overlooks our shortcomings!

Ethan Kirl