Shabbat Shalom all,

Tehillim/Psalm 105:3 “Make your boast in His set-apart Name; let the hearts rejoice of those seeking יהוה.

The Hebrew root word for ‘boast’ is הָלַל halal Strong’s H1984 which means, ‘to shine; to be boastful; to be clear; to make a show; to rave; be foolish; to celebrate; praise, cheer, brag or extol, i.e., extol the greatness or excellence of a person, object or event.

The word תְּהִלָּה tehillah Strong’s H8416 which means, ‘praise, or a song of praise, psalm’ comes from this word. This is possibly the most well-known word in terms of praise and what we must take notice of is that our lives are to shine the light of the Truth as we make our boast in our Master and King, as we celebrate Him in all we do.

Our need to be a people who are making our boast in יהוה continually, must be clearly evident in all we do, whether in word or deed, as we do our utmost to continually shine the Light of the Truth of our Great Elohim, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in! In other words, as we seek יהוה always, we must do so with a rejoicing heart that makes the unceasing boast in His set-apart Name!

Tehillim/Psalm 105:4 “Seek יהוה and His strength; seek His face always.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘always’ is the word תָּמִיד tamiyd – Strong’s H8548 which means, continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually’. This word is frequently used in an adjective construction with the word עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway, in reference to the ‘continual burnt offering’ that was to be made at the door of the Tent of Meeting every morning and evening. The olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, as we are to present your bodies as a living offering, that is set-apart and well-pleasing to Elohim, for this is our reasonable worship unto יהוה. The lamps were to ‘burn continually’, and as we walk in the Master and uphold His Torah, we keep shining the Light of His Truth! And this we are to do continually! This is a clear picture for us in the command to keep our lamps burning continually:

Tehillim/Psalm 119:44 “That I might guard Your Torah continually, forever and ever

How we keep our lamps burning continually, is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!

Guarding His commands and keeping our lamps burning is vital, but more importantly, it is how we are doing this that reflects whether the light we are shining is a pure and undefiled light or not! Simply ‘going through motions’, so to speak, just because you know you have to, is not enough! Our obedience must be reflective of the joy we have in our Master and King, and our boast in His Name must be ever present, shining bright even in the midst of the darkest trials! It is easy to be boasting in יהוה when all seems well, but how about when the battles you are facing are agonizingly tough and seemingly unbearable – can you still boast in יהוה and shine the joy of His sure Truth amidst the darkest times? Are you able to boast in Him when it feels like you are drowning under the chaotic sea of despair or when you are facing the fiery heat of intense pressures and trials? As a beloved servant you should! The question is – Are you?

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43:1-2 “But now, thus said יהוה, your Creator, O Ya’aqoḇ, and He who formed you, O Yisra’ĕl, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name, you are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you; and through rivers, they do not overflow you. When you walk through fire, you are not scorched, and a flame does not burn you.

Do you make you boast in the great and mighty Elohim of Hosts who declares this to us?

Tonight in a message called, ‘BOAST IN יהוה ALWAYS!’, I would like us to learn some valuable lessons in being a people who are able to continually make our boast in our Master and Elohim; and in order to do this I would like us to learn from the historical overview and setting regarding the composition of  Tehillim/Psalm 34 (read)

The title for this very powerful declaration of a bold and boastful praise of Elohim is:

“Of Dawiḏ, when he changed his behaviour, before Aḇimeleḵ; who drove him away, and he departed.”

I think that the title given here is very important for us in understanding the historical setting of this most powerful Psalm/Tehillah of praise. Before we look at some of the very powerful truths contained in the great psalm of a committed continual praise unto יהוה, let us first set the scene in regards to the accounts that led up to this point in Dawiḏ’s life. Dawiḏ, as I am sure you know means, Belovedדָּוִד  – Strong’s H1732, and therefore we have a ‘Psalm of the beloved…’, and therefore we are able to recognise how we all, as beloved servants of the Most High, ought to be able to bless יהוה and make our boast in Him at all times, no matter what we are facing!

Dawiḏ had experienced some very great deliverances, and we are often able to recognise how experiencing deliverance produces thanksgiving and the urgent zeal to call and teach others to do the same!

Tehillim/Psalm 34 is one of 8 Psalms that are assigned to the time of Dawiḏ’s intense persecution he was facing under the wicked king Sha’ul who sought to kill him. Let me briefly mention the headings of the other 7 Psalms that are attributed to the times of intense persecution Dawiḏ faced from Sha’ul:

Tehillim/Psalm 7:1 “Shiggayon of Dawiḏ, which he sang unto יהוה, concerning the words of Kush the Binyamite.

שִׁגָּיוֹן Shiggayon – Strong’s H7692 is an uncertain term, yet this word has been described as a musical term meaning, ‘a wild passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm’, and this was written concerning the words of Kush the Binyamite, which is a clear reference to Sha’ul, the son of Kush, who repeatedly cursed Dawiḏ.

Tehillim/Psalm 52:1 “To the chief musician, maskil, A Psalm of Dawiḏ, when Do’eg the Eḏomite came and told Sha’ul, and said unto him, Dawiḏ is come to the house of Aḥimeleḵ.

The Hebrew term – מַשְׂכִּיל maskil – Strong’s H4905 means, a song or poem of contemplation

Tehillim/Psalm 54:1 “To the chief musician on neginoth, maskil, A Psalm of Dawiḏ, when the Ziphim came and said to Sha’ul, does not Dawiḏ hide himself with us?

The Hebrew term נְגִינַת neginath – Strong’s H5058 means, music, songs, instruments, and comes from נָגַן nagan – Strong’s H5059 – this is used 15 times in Scripture and has the meaning,to touch or play a stringed instrument, minstrel, pluck the strings’:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 38:20 “יהוה, come to save me! And let us sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of יהוה.

Making songs and singing songs to stringed instruments is a great expression of praise boastfully praising in יהוה, which we are blessed to enjoy here at ATFOTC, together!

Tehillim/Psalm 56:1 “To the chief musician upon Yonathelemreḥoqim, miḵtam of Dawiḏ, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

Miḵtam – Strong’s H4387 is a technical term used in 6 of the Tehillim/Psalms, and are all linked with Dawiḏ – Tehillim/Psalm 16, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60. This technical term connected only to these 6 Tehillim/Psalms of Dawiḏ, which meaning is uncertain, and is thought to come from an ancient Akkadian word katāmu, meaning, to cover, and could therefore render the meaning of, a song of covering, or a song of atonement. While there may be some dispute over the meaning of this technical term, what we can see is that this term is likened to poems of confidence written by Dawiḏ, whilst under immense danger and pressures from his enemies! יוֹנַת אֵלֶם רְחֹקִים Yonathelemreḥoqim – Strong’s H3128 means, the silent dove of far off places’, and while the meaning of this technical term is debated in terms of its meaning, we are able to identify with the picture of Dawiḏ’s complete trust in having the assurance of יהוה’s presence, giving him the ability to praise יהוה, even when he was far from his home!

Tehillim/Psalm 57:1 “To the chief musician, altashḥeyth, miḵtam of Dawiḏ, when he fled from Sha’ul in the cave.

אַל־תַּשְׁחֵת al-tashḥeyth – Strong’s H516 is a phrase used in the title of 4 Psalms (57, 58, 59, 75) which means, do not destroy.

Tehillim/Psalm 59:1 “To the chief musician, altashḥeyth, miḵtam of Dawiḏ; when Sha’ul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.

Tehillim/Psalm 142:1 “Maskil of Dawiḏ; a Prayer when he was in the cave.

The reason for mentioning these titles is to simply show how Dawiḏ endured under intense persecution, and never stopped seeking יהוה, and never stopped making his requests with thanksgiving, and never stopped making his boast in יהוה. These were just some, among many, of the great Tehillim/Psalms that Dawiḏ composed on the very weary way of suffering under the hand of Sha’ul, as he endured from Giḇʽah of Sha’ul to Tsiqlaḡ.

After having served in the palace of Sha’ul for 7 years, Dawiḏ fled from Sha’ul and was hunted by Sha’ul for 4 years; and after 4 years of being hunted he came to Tsiqlaḡ and stayed there for 4 years until Sha’ul died. During this time the Ark of the Covenant was at Qiryath Yeʽarim. 

Let us take a quick recap of where the Ark of the Covenant had gone. The Tent of Meeting had been in Noḇ, the city of the priests, for just under 80 years, after it having been moved from Shiloh which was destroyed by the Philistines, after Eli and his two sons, Ḥophni and Pineḥas died on the same day. The Ark however was not with the Tent of Meeting, as it was captured by the Philistines and went on a 7 month journey through the Philistines cities, after which they sent it back on a wagon to Bĕyth Shemesh. At Bĕyth Shemesh some of the Yisra’ĕlites looked into the Ark of the Covenant and died and they sent it to Qiryath Yeʽarim, where it remained for over 90 years. It was from here that Dawiḏ went to fetch the Ark and after the priests made a new wagon, Uzzah was struck dead when he touched the Ark, when the wagon hit a bump in the road. The Ark was then placed in the house of Obeḏ-Eḏom for 3 months, after which Dawiḏ came to fetch it and carry it back to Yerushalayim as it should have been.

I wanted to mention this briefly to simply put these events into historical perspective, as we recognise that the Ark of Elohim was not with the Tent of Meeting during the reign of Sha’ul.

The priesthood were performing their function and duties in the Tent while it was at Noḇ; and it was here that Dawiḏ came and got the sword of Golyath and he and his men ate of the showbread that was given to them by Aḥimeleḵ the priest. Sha’ul was informed of this and he went and slaughtered the entire city of priests, even the women and children, and the oxen, donkeys and sheep. After Sha’ul killed the priests, the Tent of Meeting did not function, as there was no high priest and priesthood to serve, until after Sha’ul died. The only survivor of Sha’ul’s slaughtering of Noḇ, was Eḇyathar the son of Aḥimeleḵ, who had escaped and reported to Dawiḏ what Sha’ul had done, and he remained with Dawiḏ until Sha’ul died.

After being hunted for 4 years Dawiḏ came to Gath of the Philistines and dwelt with Aḵish the king of Gath, who then gave Dawiḏ the city of Tsiqlaḡ. There is much we can glean from studying the historical events that are given to us of Dawiḏ’s travels from Giḇʽah to Tsiqlaḡ, before he would return and be set up as king and rebuild the Tabernacle!

Giḇʽah was Sha’ul’s home town, a Binyamite city that has a frightening history on its own. Giḇʽah has also been known to being referred to as ‘the second Seḏom’, a wicked place where sodomy was practiced! It was at Giḇʽah that we also read of being the city that the Lĕwite priest’s concubine was raped and murdered, as recorded in Shophetim/Judges 19. This city was known for its wicked acts of sexual perversion and cruelty; and after the Lěwites concubine was killed, he cut her up into 12 pieces and distributed her body parts throughout Yisra’ĕl. This ripped right through the heart of Yisra’ĕl, as such an act had never been seen in all their borders, and after investigation, the entire tribe of Binyamin was almost wiped out completely.

This was Sha’ul’s home town! And it is from here that Dawiḏ fled from this wicked king and was hunted like a dog for 4 years. In the midst of being hunted, Dawiḏ never lost his trust and hope in יהוה, and we are able to clearly see from many of His songs of praise, that he understood the necessity of guarding his ability to make his boast in יהוה, and forever have the praise of Elohim in his mouth!

When Dawiḏ came to Gath and came before Aḵish, the servants of Aḵish tried to accuse Dawiḏ of being a huge threat to Aḵish, and he acted like a madman before Aḵish, who then sent him out, and Dawiḏ fled to the cave of Aḏullam, where his family had joined him and many who were in distress, in debt and bitter, under the wicked reign of Sha’ul was gathered to Dawiḏ. After some time Dawiḏ returned to Aḵish and Aḵish gave him Tsiqlaḡ, were he dwelt until Sha’ul died.

This Tehillim/Psalm 34 was composed during the 4 years Dawiḏ was being violently hunted by Sha’ul, and after the first time he came before Aḵish and pretended to be mad!

I do hope that I have helped you gain a better setting for this Tehillim, for it is in understanding a brief overview of this setting that this Tehillim/Psalm can carry some vital lessons for us in how our praise and boast in our Mighty and Wonderful Elohim, יהוה of Hosts, should be ever present, even in the midst of being hunted down by the enemy!

He begins by clearly expressing that he blesses יהוה at all times and that praise for יהוה is continually in his mouth! How are you at this? Do you bless יהוה at all times, and is His praise continually in your mouth? Or do you find yourself doubting and questioning the One you should be boasting in, especially when you find yourself in a very tough spot?

Dawiḏ further emphasises that his being makes its boast in יהוה, and herein lies the heart of the matter – Dawiḏ did not just give lip service – he made his boast with his all! His entire life was a boast in the Almighty יהוה.

Bless and boast at all times! – The Hebrew phrase ‘at all times’ is בְּכָל־עֵת bḵaleyth: the letter ‘בְּ’ renders the preposition ‘at’ and the term for ‘all’ is from the word כֹּל kol – Strong’s H3606 meaning, whole, all, entire, every, continually, and the Hebrew word for ‘times’ is עֵת eth – Strong’s H6256 which means, seasons, time, appointed times, circumstances, always.  A clear lesson for us here is that we cannot use difficult and trying circumstances as an excuse to not be making our boast in יהוה, and not let tough times be an excuse to not be blessing Him and praising Him at all times! In our ability to boast – that is to shine, we also recognise that this also implies our readiness to speak up and proclaim the Truth, no matter the season or circumstances!

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.

In his boast Dawiḏ cries out for the humble to hear and be glad! We are to make known our boasting in the assembly, and in the hearing of our boasting and praise, we are to stir up others, and call them to join our praise so that we can exult the Name of יהוה together! This call for the humble to hear and be glad is a call to rejoicing praise, as the Hebrew word used here for ‘glad’ is שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!

A life of praise is not a dull thing! Does your life reflect the joy of the light of the presence of our King? Do you shine His truth and ‘brighten up’ any company you find yourself in as you rejoice before Elohim? As children of light, do you shine with jubilant praise? Do people know who you serve and praise or is your light hidden most of the time? A true life of praise does not hide the joy and delight we have in serving, following and praising our Master and Elohim – especially when going through very trying and harsh circumstances!

In verse3 we learn that we should not be doing this alone! Dawiḏ calls for the humble to make יהוה great with him. Herein lies a vital key of fellowship and the ability to boastfully make the praise of יהוה, our Mighty Elohim, great and awesome together! We stir each other up as we make a boastful praise of our king, and we need each other to do so – hence recognising the power of our collective praise! It is with thanksgiving that we enter His gates and with praise that we enter His courts – and here we see how our collective gathering on the Shabbat and Feasts with the entrance of song and praise, causes us to enter into His presence to receive His righteous and just right-rulings, guidance and equipping for our walk as faithful ambassadors of His coming reign!

Neglecting fellowship can hinder one’s ability to seek יהוה as we should, and in doing so we may find that we experience no deliverance from our fears!

Many who neglect to gather and celebrate with boastful and joyous praise of our Great King, often lack the ability to overcome the doubt, worries and cares of this life, and so I encourage you all to never stay away from fellowship and the commanded gathering of the set-apart ones, because of trying circumstances. Taking a time out away from fellowship is not the Scriptural way! For, as Dawiḏ says in verse 5, they looked to Him and were enlightened’. Firstly the plural of ‘they’, speaks of a collection of people, and looking to Him together speaks of our gathering with boastful praise! Doing this will not cause disappointment but will rather bring a lightening of the heavy load that you may have been carrying! Dawiḏ announces the reality of how יהוה hears our cry and he expresses the joy of how he was heard and delivered from his distress! The promise of protection is given to those who fear יהוה, and to fear יהוה entails a complete submission to His Word, putting Him first above all else, despite the pressured lifestyles that are being faced, and the draining deadlines that are pressing! יהוה and obedience to His Word, and not neglecting to gather and praise as we should, will ensure a promised protection and encampment of His Presence!

Verse 8 is a powerful plea that Dawiḏ makes to all, and possibly more so to those who do not grasp the power of surrendered praise, as he says, “oh taste and see that יהוה is good!”. Until you actually do it properly, you will never get to truly taste and see His goodness as we should! Cutting corners of our needed boasting and praise, and cutting corners on engaging in the needed fellowship and interaction of a united body that praises Him with boldness, will limit one’s ability to experience the complete goodness of Elohim, and cause a door for doubt and insecurity to find a way in!

Fearing יהוה comes with the promise of there being no lack, and here Dawiḏ pictures true fear with no lack against a lion that gets hungry and lacks, making it clear that when you truly seek יהוה as you should, then no good matter will be lacked!

Here in this Tehillim the word used for ‘seek’ is  דָּרַשׁ  darash – Strong’s H1875 means, to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question. Now we see that this word carries more than simply just to take a quick peek, but rather emphasises the need to be digging deep in seeking out carefully and with great diligence, through consultation, and asking. When we are told to ‘seek’ first the Kingdom – we must recognise that this is not an instruction that gives the notion that you look at it and now that you have seen it you can go on your merry way – NO! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline each and every day. Here we are being clearly instructed to ‘seekיהוה and His strength. We need to ‘seek’ Him and this implies an inquiry after knowledge, advice, and insight into any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in.

A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ  darash is מִדְרָשׁ  midrash – Strong’s H4097 means, a study, record, writings or story, commentary. A ‘midrash’ speaks of the ability to search out something and often refers to that which is written to teach, and later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, often done together. The point is that we are to be a people who are earnestly growing in wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures so we can remember what we look like when we look intently into the mirror of His Word!

Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:25 “יהוה is good to those waiting for Him, to the being who seeks Him.

After saying in verse 10 that those who ‘seek’ יהוה shall not lack, Dawiḏ immediately calls for us to come and listen in order to be taught the fear of יהוה. Our need to be a hearing-guarding and doing people of Elohim is vital and this calls for us to put aside the things of the flesh and seek יהוה with our all. In verse 12-14 the call to stop desiring the things of the flesh is clear, and they way to do that is to watch our words and actions, making sure that whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we do it in the Name of יהושע Messiah (Qolasim/Colossians 3:17). Dawiḏ then further makes it clear that we should seek peace and pursue it, for the eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and His face is against evil-doers!

Being obedient is critical, and as I said earlier it needs to be an obedience that reflect the true boastful praise of Elohim, done with great rejoicing, and not under compulsion!

In verse 19 Dawiḏ tells us that the righteous have many evils, yes…many evils! That means that we are not exempt from trials and very tough battles and circumstances, but rather the knowledge that it is יהוה who delivers us out of all of them, should cause us to be ignited with a boastful praise that never ceases!

We who stay in the Master have the full assurance of our deliverance being made complete when He returns! This is not so for the wrong, for evil shall slay the wrong! The clear fact that Dawiḏ is making here in his boast of יהוה, is that no one, who trusts in יהוה shall be lost, hence the urgent call to make יהוה great together!

Yoḥanan/John 15:6 “If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

The Greek word translated as ‘stay’ is μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, to stay, abide, remain, stand, kept continually, endure, and can also be understood as having the meaning, remain as one, not to become another or different’. In other words, when we ‘stay’ in The Master we do not change our commitment to bearing fruit of set-apartness, and we do not shrink back from standing firm in the Truth, but rather remain firm in our fervent stand of faith!

While I have only briefly looked at this Tehillim of boasting praise, my hope was to stir you to praise and recognise the powerful lesson we can learn from Dawiḏ – showing us that our circumstances must NEVER determine our ability to praise or not – for we are to BOAST IN יהוה ALWAYS!

What battles have you been facing, or even running from? What persecutions have you been facing? What troubles are you being challenged with? Do not let them stop your ability to boast in יהוה always! One thing is sure, when we boast and praise Him continually, even in the face of intense trials, we may look mad to the world – but that is ok!

BOAST IN יהוה ALWAYS! – because if you don’t you will find it harder to cope and overcome that which we are called to in our Master!

As a small fellowship, we know that each and every one here faces some kind of trying circumstances or heated battles, be it emotional, physical, or relational; and herein lies the urgent call that I do hope you are hearing, and that is to:


Let us do this together, and let us make יהוה great together! This will of course call for complete commitment and total surrender to His word! Perhaps you have been cutting the corners of the required obedience to the Torah of Elohim, and because of this the pressures and tests you are facing, or circumstances that you feel like you are drowning in, have caused you to lose heart and become weak! Hear the call to a boastful praise of Elohim, who delivers us from all our evils! If you have been cutting corners, and have found that you have used your circumstances to justify this, then stop and turn back to doing what you know is required – no matter how tough and hard it may seem. Trust יהוה to deliver you from your circumstances by showing your belief in Him through your obedient actions that cannot and must not be delayed anymore! Delayed obedience in simply disobedience! Has your ability to make a continual boastful praise in יהוה been hindered by your circumstances? Then take the right step of obedient faith and do what you should? Perhaps you have been cutting corners on your obedience to keeping His Sabbath as you should, or perhaps you have neglected to give proper tithes and offerings because of financial pressures, well hear the Word and trust יהוה to deliver you from the many evils you may be facing, as you do what He commands and instructs!

Has your ability to be boastful in the praise of Elohim, and the witness of His goodness, been compromised before others because you have allowed the fleshly influence of others to tarnish your set-apartness? By that I mean, have you found that you engage in filthy talk, slanderous and course joking, or have you been bitter and negative in your walk and then wonder how you are supposed to shine the light of the Truth and tell others to taste and see how good יהוה is, for you do not firmly grasp how good He is in your own life, simply because you have grumbled over your circumstances?

Dawiḏ was being hunted for 4 years, and he never let his boast in יהוה to be halted, and we must learn from his good example given to us. Dawiḏ’s focus here was on making יהוה great, and not on making his problems great! This we need to learn from too… make יהוה great, and this we are to do together – you will soon see how little your problems are in the face of our Great and Mighty Elohim who will lead us in peace!

You might, at times, find yourself using the words, ‘but you do not know what I am going through or the pressure I am under..’, and you may be right, and while we are encouraged to bear one another’s burdens by sharing and walk together in transparency, circumstances are never to be used as an excuse to stop or be lacking in your vital need to be blessing יהוה at all times and making your boast in Him with your all! It is not about the circumstances you face, it is about how you are blessing, praising and making your boast in יהוה in the midst of them that matters!

Let the historical setting of this Tehillim/Psalm cause you to consider carefully your ways before our Master and Elohim, and make sure that your boastful praise of Him can be done with great confidence and joy, and be done always, no matter where you are or what you are going through!

Obedient boastful praise will bring about a change! I encourage you to taste and see this true fact as you seek יהוה with your all and walk in the true blessing of trusting Him completely!

In verse 3 the word ‘together’ is the Hebrew word יַחַד  yaḥad – Strong’s H3162 meaning, unitedness, alike, one accord, unity! In unity and in one accord! Under times of intense persecutions the early believers were in unity, making bold their boastful praise:

Ma’asei/Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, continuing with one mind in the Set-apart Place, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising Elohim and having favour with all the people. And the Master added to the assembly those who were being saved, day by day.

How has your praise and blessing of יהוה been? Let us make Him great together and let your light shine as you boldly BOAST IN יהוה ALWAYS!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!