Many Are the Afflictions of the Righteous: What Does Psalm 34:19 Mean?


Psalm 34:19, Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” King James Version (KJV)

TranslationPsalm 34:19
ESVMany are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
NASBMany are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
NIVThe righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
NLTThe righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.

Many Are the Afflictions of the Righteous: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

34:11-22 Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master. All aim to be happy.

Surely this must look further than the present world; for man’s life on earth consists but of few days, and those full of trouble. What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts.

That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue. It is not enough not to do hurt, we must study to be useful, and to live to some purpose; we must seek peace and pursue it; be willing to deny ourselves a great deal for peace’ sake.

It is the constant practice of real believers, when in distress, to cry unto God, and it is their constant comfort that he hears them. The righteous are humbled for sin, and are low in their own eyes. Nothing is more needful to true godliness than a contrite heart, broken off from every self-confidence.

In this soil every grace will flourish, and nothing can encourage such a one but the free, rich grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The righteous are taken under the special protection of the Lord, yet they have their share of crosses in this world, and there are those that hate them.

Both from the mercy of Heaven, and the malice of hell, the afflictions of the righteous must be many. But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken.

Psalm 34:19 | Pulpit Bible Commentary

Verse 19. – Many are the afflictions of the righteous (comp. Job 36:8-10; Acts 14:22; 1 Corinthians 15:19; 2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 11:33-38; Hebrews 12:5-10, etc.).

The righteous suffer afflictions because they are so imperfectly righteous. They need purging, purifying, chastening, to rid them of the dross and defilement of sin which still clings to them, and from which they are never wholly freed while they continue in the flesh.

“We must through mush tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). We must, like the Captain of our salvation, be “made perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10). But the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

When they have done their appointed work of purging, purifying, instructing, improving, or whatever else their work may be, God removes the afflictions with which he has visited us or allowed us to be visited, ultimately, when he takes us to himself, mercifully delivering us “out of them all.”

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