Psalm 34

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

Psalm 34, recorded by the David/Asaph Project. Originally released in 2014 on the Pastoral Psalms album, was revised & remastered in 2016. Duration is 7:58.

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Details

Produced by John Piper

Musical composition by David Albracht

Recorded in the Dallas area and Louisiana
Engineered & Mixed by John Piper
Mastered by Pete Maher

Musicians:
Bass – Lou Harlas
Guitar – John Piper
Percussion – John Bryant
Piano – Ken Boome
Vocals – David Albracht

Image above: iPhone photo by David Albracht, Texas Sunset, 2012

Description

Psalm 34, the seventh track of the Pastoral Psalms album, was recorded by the David/Asaph Project during the years 2007-2013. This song features the text of the KJV translation set to new music with all acoustic instrumentation. Song duration is 7:58.

With its time signature set to 6/8 throughout, Psalm 34 is the longest song on the Pastoral Psalms album at nearly 8 minutes. Ken Boome and Lou Harlas did a remarkable job of arranging and playing the piano and bass parts respectively to accommodate the song’s length and limited variation. The song breaks toward the end on the word “broken”, and is followed by a slowed tempo and rubato ending lasting nearly a minute.

In the Bible, Psalm 34 is an acrostic poem for all of the Hebrew letters except for ו (waw). Its title is “A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abim’elech; who drove him away, and he departed.” Charles Spurgeon expounds upon the title in the introduction to his exposition of the psalm (see below).

C.H. Spurgeon's Comments on the text of Psalm 34

 

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed. Of this transaction, which reflects no credit upon David’s memory, we have a brief account in 1 Sa 21:1-15. Although the gratitude of the psalmist prompted him thankfully to record the goodness of the Lord in vouchsafing an undeserved deliverance, yet he weaves none of the incidents of the escape into the narrative, but dwells only on the grand fact of his being heard in the hour of peril. We may learn from his example not to parade our sins before others, as certain vainglorious professors are wont to do who seem as proud of their sins as old Greenwich pensioners of their battles and their wounds. David played the fool with singular dexterity, but he was not so real a fool as to sing of his own exploits of folly. In the original, the title does not teach us that the psalmist composed this poem at the time of his escape from Achish, the king or Abimelech of Gath, but that it is intended to commemorate that event, and was suggested by it. It is well to mark our mercies with well carved memorials. God deserves our best handiwork. David in view of the special peril from which he was rescued, was at great pains with this Psalm, and wrote it with considerable regularity, in almost exact accordance with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This is the second alphabetical Psalm, the twenty-fifth being the first.

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