Today’s passage: Psalm 54
Today’s chocolate: Equal Exchange Organic Very Dark Chocolate (71 % Cacao)
The nice thing about the epigraph before each psalm is that sometimes it gives you the personal context in which the psalm was composed. Psalm 54 here concerns the time that the Ziphites ratted out David’s hiding place to Saul. You can check out the full story in 1 Samuel 23:15-29 and 1 Samuel 26. Go ahead, read it! The psalm is super-short and it’ll take you like five minutes to read the story with the Ziphites and junk. We’ll still be here when you’re done.
Welcome back. As you know, this is far from the first psalm that David wrote under pressure, hiding from enemies or on the run from his life. Here he opens with an appeal to God, and he has only two requests: “Save me” (1) and “Hear my prayer” (2). There’s no demands for his oppressors to be punished or brought to justice, no concern for anyone’s reputation, whether his or God’s or the evildoers’. David just wants to make it out of this situation alive.
And, having made his request, David confidently expects that God will act in accordance with his goodness. He writes:
Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
He will recompense the evil to my foes;
Destroy them in Your faithfulness. (4-5)
It’s worth noting that the verb for “destroy” here might also be translated “silence;” it doesn’t necessarily demand the evildoers’ death, but it does recognize that they must be stopped. David’s point in this segment is that, one way or another, God will come to his rescue. I look at the degree of David’s confidence in God, and I think to myself: I want that.
David closes the psalm with gratitude for God’s provision. He prays, “I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good” (6). Remember his request from the very beginning: what exactly is he thanking God for? The fact that he’s still alive. He’s been rescued, his life has been preserved, he still has breath to thank God for. That’s all he needs.
A little appreciation goes a long way, and when all you want from God is to get through the next moment without dying, it’s not that hard to get what you want. See you next week, fam.
Question of the Day: What do you expect from God? Why do you expect it?