John T. Willis

Monday, December 26, 2016

Prayer for Deliverance from the Ruthless--Psalm 54

Psalm 54 is very brief. The author and historical setting is unknown. The Superscription connects this psalm with the Ziphites telling Saul that David is hiding among the Ziphites (1 Samuel 23:19-20). But this is a later addition in an attempt to connect Psalm 54 with a historical event connected with David. Psalm 54 contains no reference to this event. Psalm 54 falls into three parts.

1. The psalmist beseeches Yahweh to save him. Psalm 54:1-3.
     a. The poet addresses Yahweh as God. He asks Yahweh to SAVE him by God's name. Here God's name means God Himself. He beseeches Yahweh to VINDICATE him by his MIGHT. 54:1.
     b. The psalmist implores Yahweh, "Hear my prayer," "Give ear to the words of my mouth," meaning this prayer which is Psalm 54. 54:2.
     c. The composer beseeches Yahweh to save him BECAUSE the Insolent have risen against him, the RUTHLESS seek his life. They have no interest in God, but only to destroy this psalmist. 54:3.

2. Speaking to his audience, the psalmist extols Yahweh as his helper. Psalm 54:4-5.
    a. The poet proclaims that Yahweh is his HELPER. The hearer or reader immediately thinks of Psalm 121:1-2. The poet explains that Yahweh is the UPHOLDER of his life. 54:4.
    b. The psalmist confidently declares that Yahweh will repay his enemies for their evil. Then suddenly, he addresses Yahweh directly: "In YOUR faithfulness, put an end to them [my enemies]." 54:5.

3. The Psalmist give thanks to God for delivering him. Psalm 54:6-7.
     a. The psalmist continues to address God directly. First, he promises that he will SACRIFICE a freewill offering to Yahweh. He will give thanks to Yahweh for this is good. To "give thanks to God's name" is to "give thanks to God Himself." 54:6.
     b. The psalmist give God thanks because God has delivered him from every trouble, and his eye has looked in triumph on his enemies. 54:7.

God's people are surrounded by enemies. The proper Christian response is not to retaliate, but to pray to Yahweh to intervene, overthrow his enemies, and deliver his faithful people.

Share YOUR experiences and concerns and anxieties and fears and journeys with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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