Psalms 54

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David. When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, “Is not David hiding among us?”

1 [a][b]Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.
2 Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.
3 Arrogant foes are attacking me; ruthless people are trying to kill me— people without regard for God.[c]
4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
5 Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.
6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, LORD, for it is good.
7 You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

Psalms 54 Commentary

Chapter 54

David complains of the malice of his enemies. (1-3) Assurance of the Divine favour and protection. (4-7)

Verses 1-3 God is faithful, though men are not to be trusted, and it is well for us it is so. David has no other plea to depend upon than God's name, no other power to depend upon than God's strength, and these he makes his refuge and confidence. This would be the effectual answer to his prayers. Looking unto David, betrayed by the men of Judah, and to Jesus, betrayed by one of his apostles, what can we expect from any who have not set God before them, save ingratitude, treachery, malice, and cruelty? What bonds of nature, or friendship, or gratitude, or covenant, will hold those that have broken through the fear of God? Selah; Mark this. Let us set God before us at all times; for if we do not, we are in danger of despair.

Verses 4-7 Behold, God is mine Helper. If we are for him, he is for us; and if he is for us, we need not fear. Every creature is that to us, and no more, which God makes it to be. The Lord will in due time save his people, and in the mean time he sustains them, and bears them up, so that the spirit he has made shall not fail. There is truth in God's threatenings, as well as in his promises; sinners that repent not, will find it so to their cost. David's present deliverance was an earnest of further deliverance. He speaks of the completion of his deliverance as a thing done, though he had as yet many troubles before him; because, having God's promise for it, he was as sure of it as if it was done already. The Lord would deliver him out of all his troubles. May he help us to bear our cross without repining, and at length bring us to share his victories and glory. Christians never should suffer the voice of praise and thanksgiving to cease in the church of the redeemed.

Cross References 17

  • 1. S 1 Samuel 24:15
  • 2. Psalms 20:1
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 20:6
  • 4. S Psalms 4:1; Psalms 5:1; 5Psalms 5:1
  • 5. Psalms 86:14
  • 6. Psalms 18:48; Psalms 140:1,4,11
  • 7. S 1 Samuel 20:1; Psalms 40:14
  • 8. Psalms 36:1
  • 9. S 1 Chronicles 5:20; S Psalms 20:2; Psalms 118:7
  • 10. S Psalms 18:35; Psalms 41:12
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalms 94:23; Proverbs 24:12
  • 12. Psalms 89:49; Psalms 143:12; Isaiah 42:3
  • 13. S Leviticus 7:12,16; S Ezra 1:4; S Psalms 27:6; Psalms 50:14
  • 14. Psalms 44:8; Psalms 69:30; Psalms 138:2; Psalms 142:7; Psalms 145:1
  • 15. Psalms 52:9
  • 16. Psalms 34:6
  • 17. Psalms 59:10; Psalms 92:11; Psalms 112:8; Psalms 118:7

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 54:1-7 is numbered 54:3-9.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us? Of the word "neginoth," See Gill on "Ps 4:1," title; and of "maschil," See Gill on "Ps 32:1," title. The occasion of writing this psalm were the discoveries the Ziphims or Ziphites made to Saul of David being in their neighbourhood; which they did twice, as appears from 1 Samuel 23:14. Which of these gave occasion to the psalm is not certain; it is very likely that it was composed after both had been made. These Ziphims were the inhabitants of a city called Ziph, which was in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:55, near to which was a wilderness, which had its name from the city in which David was when they came to Saul with this news of him.

Psalms 54 Commentaries

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