Out of the Woods
Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. ~Psalm 54:4
Ps. 54 was written to be sung with a musical instrument. It is a Maschil Psalm, which means it was meant to teach. This Psalm was written upon the occasion when the Ziphims told King Saul of David’s whereabouts in the strongholds and woods of Ziph. David was in a rugged and treacherous area. He was being hunted and was running for his life. This Psalm is a lesson for us on how to trust God when we are in the woods. It is a lesson on how God helps us when all help seems to be gone.
We see a disturbing AFFLICTION.
David went into hiding in the wilderness of Ziph. He did not know the Ziphims, and he made the assumption they did not know him. However, they reported his whereabouts to King Saul. David describes his predicament: “For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.” David thought the woody forests of Ziph would give him a hiding place, but instead, it looked like it would be the site of his burial! David was feeling fear, anxiety, and consternation for himself and his men. David was far from being out of the woods!
We see a desperate APPEAL.
David does the one and only thing he knew would be best: he prayed! “Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.” His prayer appealed to the sovereign authority and ability of God. He asked God to deliver him by God’s name. He placed his entire fate and outcome into the mighty hand of God! Our best prayers are when we are over our heads and in trouble. Our best prayers are when all we can do is place our complete faith and dependence upon God for our help. Always make prayer your first resort. Always be sure you give the Lord every detail of your trying circumstance.
We see a definite AWARENESS.
“Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.” As he prayed, there was a peace that settled in his soul that God was his helper. The Hebrew name that identifies God as our helper is “Eleazar.” The word “help” in Hebrew has a very strong meaning of someone who is on your side. Before he even escaped, the Lord already impressed in David’s heart that he was well-cared for. David had an awareness that God would take care of the battle for him.
We see a devoted APPLICATION.
“I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.” The first priority David had after God delivered him was to freely sacrifice to the Lord. He saw firsthand the marvelous hand of God take care of his enemies. David did not have to lift a finger to fight with these people. David wanted to express his gratitude with a voluntary sacrifice. H