Read: Psalm 54:1; 1 Samuel 23:19, 26:1
David was betrayed not by Philistines, but by Ziphites, his own countrymen. David might have expected Saul to be satisfied with driving him into the wilderness; he might have expected gratitude from the Ziphites. Instead Saul sought to murder him, and the Ziphites betrayed him to Saul. These were strange things that troubled David; his response was to call upon God.
Think About It: Why would the Ziphites want to betray David? Have I ever experienced unexpected, strange trouble like that which beset David? How do I respond to strange trouble?
Prayer: For God’s help to remember to make prayer my first line of defense when trouble strikes.
Read: Psalm 54:2; Psalm 19:14; Psalm 20:1 – 5.
As long as God hears our prayer, no trouble can ever trap us. Prayer is a weapon always at our disposal, a weapon no spiritual enemy can ever take from us or make ineffective.
Think About It: What assurance do I have that God hears my prayer? According to Psalm 66:18, what can keep my prayer from being heard? According to I John 1:9-10 what can I do about that?
Prayer: Confess any known sin in my life. Thank God for the privilege and the power of prayer.
Read: Psalm 54:3; Micah 7:5 – 7
David said that “strangers” rose against him, yet the Ziphites were not really strangers; they were Israelites. Like Saul himself, they had no real cause for ill will against David, yet they were willing to betray him unto death. Saul and the Ziphites acted like strangers towards David, which was in itself strange. “Strange trials” are not strange to God, and God’s people are told to expect trials, as well as the grace to bear them, as a normal part of the Christian life (1 Peter 4:12 – 16.)
Think About It: According to Psalm 54:3 what spiritual problem did the Ziphites have that may have explained their attitude towards David? How have I experienced God’s grace in dealing with trials and tribulations?
Prayer: For the grace not to be bewildered if and when I experience fiery trials.
Read: Psalm 54:4; Romans 8:31 – 39
David turned from supplication in verses 1-3 to exultation in verses 4 -5. He rejoiced that God helped him – even before that help arrived. God supports and sustains His children.
Think About It: Am I able to rejoice in times of trouble for deliverance that I pray for but have not yet received?
Prayer: Thank God for things that I have received so far only in hope.
Read: Psalm 54:5; Romans 12:17 – 21
David’s prayer for his enemies differed in its tone from the prayer of Jesus on the cross, “Father, forgive them,” and from the prayer of Stephen as he was being stoned, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60). Yet David left his enemies in God’s hands, in accordance with the principle that vengeance belongs to the Lord. To be fair to David, we should note that Stephen prayed for those whose salvation he desired; David was praying about people who were supposed to be God’s people already, but who were not acting like it.
Think About It: Do I leave vengeance in God’s hands? How close am to having the attitude of the Lord and Stephen towards those who would persecute me for my faith?
Prayer: For God to forgive my enemies; for more compassion and for more passion for the salvation of the lost.
Read: Psalm 54:6; 2 Corinthians 9:6 – 11
David expressed thanksgiving to God for deliverance that was still only hoped for. He expressed that thanksgiving tangibly in an offering to God, a gift spontaneously and freely given. By contrast, hypocrites give in order to look good in front of others, or out of a sense of compulsion, or in order to get something in return.
Think About It: What motivates me to give? Do I give cheerfully and freely? Is God delighted with my attitude in giving?
Prayer: For purity in my motivations in giving; for spontaneity and generous freedom in my giving.
Read: Psalm 54:7; Romans 8:18 – 26; Romans 13:11 – 12
David closed this psalm by praising God for a deliverance he anticipated in hope. Christian hope has full assurance of fulfillment because God stands behind His word.
Think About It: How have I experienced God’s deliverance in the past? How does that affect my capacity to hope in God’s deliverance in the future? I have two assurances of the fulfillment of hope: God’s promises in His word, and my own experience of God’s faithfulness in my life.
Prayer: For the virtue of hope to grow stronger in my life.