Vs. 1 is David’s plea;
Vs. 2-3 is David’s prayer;
Vs. 4-5 is David’s partner;
Vs. 6-7 is David’s praise.
Before the Psalm, instruction for the “Musician” was that this was to be accompanied “With stringed instruments.” Like every reference to musical instruments outside of the heart in the Old Testament, all were left behind when Jesus Christ was crucified. For Jesus “has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14). AND of all the references to musical instruments in the Book of Psalms, only 2 verses were quoted in the New Testament as pertaining to music in worship, and both say “sing” (Psalm 18:49=Romans 15:9; Psalm 22:22=Hebrews 2:12).
Abiathar, son of Ahimelech the priest, had escaped from Doeg’s slaughter (1 Samuel 21-22). When he alerted David and his army of 600, they escaped from King Saul who was pursuing. Fleeing into the Wilderness of Ziph, the Ziphites informed Saul of David’s whereabouts. Saul returned to his land to defend it against the Philistines, and David narrowly avoided being captured and killed by Saul (1 Samuel 23). Psalm 54 may have come to David during his communion with the LORD in 1 Samuel 23:7-13.
Verse 1: David could see no human solution to his trouble. How frequently do we, today, seem to come to “the end of our rope” before we are forced to face the fact that God is our help and the answer? And how often, when we are helped, do we give God glory for it?
Verses 2-3: To be heard by God, our prayers must be addressed to God, as Jesus’ pattern showed (Luke 11:1-2)! Then we must open our hearts and lay our trouble(s) before Him (Philippians 4:6). Think about it: All trouble comes from people who “have not set God before them.” In the New Testament, Christians were reminded: “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15).
Verses 4-5: Acknowledges that “God is my helper” and He helps those who are with us, to help us! Most people think God must respond to their need by miracle, and ignore God’s guiding Providence which provides people to help at the time! THEN, God keeps a record of our enemies’ evil deeds, and He will repay those who refuse to repent (Zechariah 1:1-6), and those who aid and abet enemies of Christians (2 John 7-11).
Verses 6-7: “Freely sacrifice” today would equate to “going to church.” Those who fail to regularly worship God in assemblies of Christians haven’t acknowledged God’s help in their lives. How numbing that must be! How arrogant must someone be to not give God glory for His help in their miserable lives! And then what satisfaction there is to see that God has defended us and defeated our enemies. This shows He is true to His word, and He knows that we are, too! The Apostle Paul never lost his recognition of this fact (2 Timothy 4:16-18).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.