The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

    and his ears are attentive to their cry;

16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,

    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;

    he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted

    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

‘The secret of facing trouble’,( Motyer), is to ‘take it to the Lord in prayer.’

‘The onset of trouble must be matched by the onset of prayer’ (Alec Motyer: ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.507).

God’s ears are “attentive” (15). As Kidner observes, He takes our prayers seriously.

It is precious to realise that the Lord identifies with those who are overwhelmed by life’s troubles. He never takes our suffering lightly (18).

You will notice, I’m sure, the major contrast drawn between “the righteous” (who pray), and “those who do evil.”

 “The eyes of the LORD are on…but the face of the LORD is against…” Derek Kidner says, ‘The plight of the wicked is put in an equally personal form, in terms of the unwelcoming face of God (16)’ (Tyndale Commentary on Psalms 1-72, p.159).

 He then quotes C.S. Lewis, who wrote in ‘The weight of glory’:

‘We can be left utterly and absolutely outside – repelled, exiled, estranged, finally and unspeakably ignored.’

Eternal issues are at stake, and we will see this again when we come to look at the final section of Psalm 34 next time.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you take our prayers seriously.