Peter's Favorite Psalm

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

Psalm 34:4

Everyone who reads the Bible on a regular basis has their favorite verse of scripture, their go to chapter or book of the Bible that speaks to them, and brings them comfort and peace. If I had to guess which book of the Bible and what chapter and verse was the apostle Peter’s I bet it would be the book of Psalms, chapter 34 and verse 5 where it says, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.” Peter quotes Psalm 34 three times in 1 Peter 3. As I went back and read Psalm 34 it was easy to see why this particular chapter in the Psalms would mean so much to him.

Peter, like many of us knew failure in his life even as a follower of Jesus. Peter knew first hand what it was like to claim one thing and then do another. Peter understood hypocrisy from experience and he knew what it felt like to let himself down, not to mention the Lord. Peter was all too familiar with fear and how it paralyzes faith if we allow it. Peter knows the downfall of pride and the inability to live up to God’s standards by sheer determination or will power. The bottom line, like many of us, Peter knew shame.

David Guzik in his commentary on 1 and 2 Peter points out some interesting facts about Peter’s life and his relationship with Jesus. He writes,

Peter’s name is mentioned in the gospels more than anyone except the name of Jesus.

No one speaks in the gospels as often as Peter did, and Jesus spoke more to Peter than to any other individual.
•  Jesus rebuked Peter more than any other disciple.
•  Peter was the only disciple who dared to rebuke Jesus.
•  Peter confessed Jesus more boldly and accurately than any other disciple.
•  Peter denied Jesus more forcefully and publicly than any other disciple.
•  Jesus praised Peter more than any other disciple.
•  Jesus addressed Peter as Satan alone among the disciples.

Since Peter is so prominent in the gospel records, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of some of the important mentions of Peter in the record of Biblical history.
•  When Jesus woke up early in the morning to pray before the sun came up, Simon Peter led the other disciples on a hunt to find Jesus and tell Him what He should do (Mark 1:35-39).
•  Peter put his nets out at the direction of Jesus to bring in a massive catch of fish (Luke 5:1-11).
•  Peter went on a unique outreach trip with the other disciples (Matthew 10:1-42).
•  Peter stepped out of the boat during a raging storm and walked on the water with Jesus (Matthew 14:24-33).
•  Peter was the one who said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and to know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69).
•  Peter saw Jesus transfigured in glory, together with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-9).
•  Peter was the one who asked Jesus how many times we should forgive a brother that sins against us, quoting the high number of “seven times” (Matthew 18:21-35).
•  Peter was the one who asked Jesus, after the encounter with the rich young ruler, what the disciples would receive for giving everything up to follow Jesus (Matthew 19:27-30).
•  Peter was the one who insisted that Jesus would not wash his feet; then he commanded Jesus to wash his whole body! (John 13:16-20).
•  Peter heard Jesus predict that he would deny Him three times (Matthew 26:30-35), and Peter replied, “Even if I have to die with you I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:35), and the rest of the disciples agreed. •  Peter was the one who cut off the right ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest, when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus (John 18:1-11).
•  Peter denied Jesus three times, cursing and swearing that he did not even know “the Man,” refusing to even name the name of Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75).
•  Peter was the one who ran with John the disciple to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection, after hearing the report of the women that the body of Jesus was not in its tomb (John 20:1-10).
•  Peter was the one who received a personal visit from the resurrected Jesus on the day of the resurrection (Luke 24:34).
•  Peter received a public restoration of Jesus in front of the other disciples after the resurrection of Jesus (John 21).

In Psalm 34:5 it says again, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” I believe Peter had John 21 in mind as for every time Peter had denied the Lord, the Lord publicly restored Peter back to faith. Just like for Peter the Bible teaches that Jesus bore your shame and mine, Jesus took our guilt and replaced it with forgiveness so that we could look upon Him and be radiant knowing we are loved, accepted and forgiven, just like Peter came to know.

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.”

PSALM 34:3


Michael Osthimer





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