Summary: In times of trouble the child of God can keep rejoicing through faith in a God that we know will deliver us. No matter what the circumstances, he is God and he does not change. Faith in the Face of Fear!
FAITH IN THE FACE OF FEAR -- PSALM 54
Introduction: The title of this Psalm tells us upon what occasion it was penned. This is talking of the time in I Samuel 23:19-23 when the inhabitants of Ziph, men of Judah , betrayed David to Saul. We know that David is already running from Saul. And he has just fled from the city of Keilah when he learned that the inhabitants were going to deliver him into the hands of Saul. We find him seeking refuge in the wilderness of Ziphim. Ziph was a little town some 15 miles to the southeast of Hebron. These Ziphites were treacherous; and on at least two occasions, I Samuel 23:19 and in I Samuel 26:1, they tried to betray David into the hands of Saul. They betrayed him by informing Saul where David was and they also put David in a place where Saul could find him.
This is a short Psalm that has a long introduction. In the superscription we read that this Psalm is to be sung, acccompanied by a “Neginoth”. A “Neginoth” was a stringed instrument that was used primarily in songs of mockery or taunting.
David did not intend for this Psalm to be treated as mere words to occupy one’s time. We see this in that he adds the word “Maschill” in the introduction, which means instruction. It will do us all good to read and study this Psalm to apply to our life’s troublesome times.
This Psalm is Short and Sweet. The first 5 verse were probably meditated upon during the trouble and penned after the deliverance. This Psalm was written by David after he had been delivered from appeared to be certain disaster and imminent death. Anytime we see David come through a time like this, he always took time to collect his thoughts and write them down.
From all outward appearance it looked as if David was cornered. It seems that every possible avenue of excape was closed. It seems that his back is against the Wall and certain destruction is upon him. But aren’t you glad that God can make a way when there seems to be no way! Just as Saul was about to draw to catch David, he learned that the Philistines were invading the land and he had to reverse his course and leave David alone.
When a man has been saved from certain destruction, whether physical or spiritual, he a reason to praise God. That is why David wrote this particular Psalm. It was written simply to sing the praises of God for delivering him out of the hand of the enemy. In verse 1-3 we find a prayer. In verses 4-7 we find the answer. Aren’t you glad that we have a prayer answering God that will deliver us out of those dangerous places.
David goes from: Trouble to Triumph, Problems to Praise, Running to Rejoicing, Scared to Safe, Praying to Praising, Sighing to Singing, Worrying to Worship, Death to Deliverance, Victim to Victor. AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT WE SERVE A GOD THAT CAN TURN OUR SITUATIONS AROUND!!!
I. DAVID CALLS OUT IN TROUBLE-- vs. 1-3 Here we see David calling on God to deliver him out of trouble. Prayer is a salve for every sore and a relief for every hurt.
A. The Trouble was Unnatural
1. Keep in mind the fact that these were David’s own countrymen.
2. It is sad indeed when a man’s friends seem like foreigners.
3. His Friends were treating him as the enemy.
4. The King he had once fought for, is now fighting him!
5. Like the Apostle Paul, David was in “perils among his own brethren.”
a. Someone said, “The people you love the most will hurt you the worst.”
b. We need to rely on that friend that’s closer than a brother.
6. These Ziphites were pretending to be David’s Friends.
a. We better watch who we trust.
b. We ought to be careful whom we associate with. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing.
7. A False Friend may become a Fierce Foe!!!
a. Saul loved David as long as David was doing things for Saul. But jealousy drove him mad to the point that
he was seeking to kill a precious soldier of his own army.
b. The Apostle Paul said that those Galatians would have plucked out their eyes for him and now they’ve
become his enemy.
B. The Trouble was Unmerciful
1. Nothing less than David’s death would satisfy Saul.
2. He could not rest as long as David was alive, even though David had done him no wrong.
3. This is always the attitude of depraved mankind. Kill those that do good.
4. Jesus Christ went about doing good, and yet he was crucified by those whom he sought to help.