Psalm 54 Commentary

Psalm 54 Commentary

Chapter 23 of the Book of First Samuel provides context to this psalm. David is in the Desert of Ziph while on the run from King Saul. The Ziphites have just blown David’s cover and he is nearly captured by King Saul. The LORD saves David by creating an emergence somewhere that required Saul’s urgent attention. The pursuit of David was immediately halted.

“Save me, O God,” David prays. “Ruthless people are trying to kill me.”

The New Testament saint will have problems with everything happening here. The LORD God is King over all. The Mighty God is sovereign while the saint is an obedient and legitimate child at the palace. Firstly, the very fact that the saint is on the run confounds reason. Secondly, the means by which the LORD saves David leaves the saint with more questions than answers.

We have defined the means by which we must be saved in the unlikely event that the untouchable is attacked. We choose the means by which we want to be saved. It is grand and respectable; the red carpet must be laid for the saint during the victory celebration.

Nothing like this happens here yet David is fully aware of the hand of God. There is a near miss but who cares? The LORD sustains David.

There could be countless interventions that the saint has enjoyed. But the lack of thanksgiving may suggest the thought that the saint isn’t entirely happy with the means. The saint may even think the LORD isn’t involved at all in the rescue. And why not? The mere presence of God melts mountains and here I’m with scraped escapes. I probably did well to do it by myself otherwise waiting on the LORD’s grand solution didn’t do me any favors.

The God we define doesn’t exist. The God we manufacture using our tastes doesn’t exist.

The psalm is informing us of the need to praise the LORD regardless of the means of salvation; grand or near-miss, or silent. The LORD knows best. The psalmist is so that happy that he plans a freewill offering to the LORD. The LORD has delivered him from all his troubles.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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