Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalm 54

Today we are considering the Ziphites. 

Think Judas and Benedict Arnold when thinking of the Ziphites. They were from the tribe of Judah, David’s kinsmen, and they betrayed him to King Saul.

Have we ever been betrayed by family or close friends? This is the backstory of Psalm 54. As David writes…

For strangers are attacking me; violent people are trying to kill me. They care nothing for God (v. 3, NLT).

Though the Ziphites were relatives of David, he called them “strangers,” which can be considered figurative language for “traitors.” There is nothing worse than being turned in by your family.

David had been anointed by God as King of Israel, but the demoted current King Saul resisted God’s will and sought to kill him. Fleeing Saul, David, and a few trusted compatriots were hiding in a wilderness close to the Dead Sea.

Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might (v. 1).

This wilderness contained a hill from which the Ziphites could watch the surrounding plateaus and valleys. Thus, they knew where David and his men were hiding. And instead of helping David, they went to Saul and said, “Hey, we know where David is hiding.”

They probably also hinted that their actions should be rewarded with a few gold coins. 

But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive! May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them (vv. 4-5a).

How have we responded to betrayal? What will we do when those close to us turn against us?

Listen to my prayer, O God. Pay attention to my plea (v. 2).

We easily say, “Let’s pray about this.” But prayer gets serious when our lives are in danger. We might feel inadequate by the need for bold prayers (my life or the life of another depends on this prayer), but David prayed confidently and soon said …

 I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. For you have rescued me from my troubles and helped me to triumph over my enemies (vv. 6b-7).

The confidence of David’s praying in Psalm 54 can be understood by his lifelong passion for protecting God’s purposes. He vanquished a lion while watching his father’s sheep, and conquered a giant intimidating the nation of Israel.

David prays confidently…

But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive! (v. 4)

Now David faced his greatest challenge. 

As the future King of Israel and the beginning name on the lineage list for Jesus, David’s actions and reactions were defending God’s eternal plans. But betrayed by his family, with King Saul and a mighty army pursuing him… 

Were David’s prayers up to the task?

May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them. Do as you promised and put an end to them (v. 5).

Now the question:  Will our faith be up for the task when we are confronted with our challenges?

Yes, those rascally Ziphites have no chance against our God.

Amen and Amen. Peace out!

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