2 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
The title of Psalm 34 indicates that it is “A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.” That particular incident is described in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. Being pursued by a very jealous and angry King Saul, David knew his life was in danger and ran away to Achish, the Philistine king of Gath. (By the way, Achish is referred to as Abimelech in this psalm’s title as Philistine kings were commonly known by that designation.) Despite trying to conceal his identity, David was soon recognised by Abimelech and his people, who said, “did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?” (1 Samuel 21:11). David was apprehensive that he might be betrayed and be delivered up by Abimelech to Saul, so he resorted to pretending to be mad, supposing that this would win pity and protection from Abimelech. However, Abimelech was unwilling to provide asylum to a madman; David soon left him, and sought refuge in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 21:15; 22:1). In this psalm, David expresses thanksgiving and praise to God for being his help and deliverer. So he said, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
This fact tells us that David depended wholly on the LORD in his trouble. His heart was obviously ill at ease in those days, constantly devising ways of escape from his trouble. But he had not forgotten to seek the LORD, whom he trusted. Though his strategies were imperfect, he looked to the LORD in his difficulty. He earnestly and diligently sought the LORD in quiet, private prayers for divine protection and strengthening. Half the trouble is gone when God’s servant seeks Him in his troubles. In prayer, he can look to God for guidance, and submit his every thought and device to find the resolve to wade through all the overwhelming problems.
David here testifies that “he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” His prayers had helped to silence his fears, enabling him to leave his case with the LORD and wait for His deliverance with great composure. David was a great man of endurance and fortitude because he was a man of prayer. Prayer helps us to calm our frightened, anxious souls. The more we dwell on our troubles, the more fearful we become. But if we turn to and commune with God in our prayers, He blesses with His presence and we shall find freedom from the grip of fear. The presence of God is the best remedy to our disquietude and fear.