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Home For Middle Easterners God is There - Psalm 54 - Text of Talk

God is There - Psalm 54 - Text of Talk

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The God who is there

Psalm 54


Bible Reading - Psalm 54

Background  story - 1 Samuel 23:1-25


There’s a man who I considered a very close friend, a brother in the Lord. Then something happened, one day I didn’t do what he wanted. I became ill and when I recovered I discovered he had been blaspheming  my name to his son. I only discovered this when his son said to me, my father thinks you’re a  Blank, blank fat pig.

I was devastated. We had poured hours into this man and his family loving and helping them thru great suffering, the loss of a child and many trails. The  last time I saw this man prior to coming out here at a local shopping centre he turned his back on me.

Friends it still hurts, but who was he turning his back on? Not me, no God forbid, it was The Lord

I’m sure if you’ve lived long enough you’ve been betrayed by someone

We have all felt betrayed at one time or another and it hurts deeply.


We have read the background story to the Psalm in 1 Samuel 23


 It would seem David composed the whole Psalm for temple worship from memory. He takes us back into his emotional

world of anxiety and extreme stress, but he doesn’t leave us there. He is surprised by joy. Without that if this was a letter from a digger fighting in Afghanistan to his mother He would be treated for post traumatic stress disorder on his return.


But we have it in God’s Word to teach us God is there in betrayal


It’s not a Psalm about prayer even though it’s as perfect a prayer as you will ever get.


It’s not even a Psalm about David’s faith but about David’s God.


Why? Because our faith changes, there are times when we don’t trust God even though we should.  But God doesn’t change. He is constant, never changing always dependant.


But friends as someone wisely said, “God is worthy to be known for who He is.” “And those who know the most about God are most responsible to make Him known.”


We don’t control our circumstances, but God does. We need to depend on God not ourselves. We need to ask God to intervene in impossible situations.


Young people listen! This is for you too. Betrayal is a big issue at school so see how God can be there for you when it happens to you if you are His.


We are going to jump around the Psalm – that’s how my mind works and I want be dealing with every phrase in the Psalm.

So let’s learn something about  betrayal,  God, and that He is there in it.


1  In betrayal    



The first reason he feels betrayed and says to God is;

People want me dead  v3a

“Strangers are attacking me.”

Why does David call the Ziphites; “Strangers.” Although they were Judeans like David, they were "strangers," because they had taken sides against Him; and pledged to seize and deliver him up so Saul could kill him. Strangers are those not of our mob – these are people who don’t have God’s interests at heart but only their own.

“Ruthless men seek my life.” V3b

Will they succeed? Wait until you hear the end of the story!


He’s despairing because men want Him dead

How must David have felt being betrayed?  He is humanly broken, emotionally drained. He has nothing left in the tank.

But we recall they plot to murder our Lord Jesus Christ and they sort his death.

Do people want you death in this community because your a Christian? To you feel the knives come out, Friend you in good company with Jesus they wanted Him death

So for David He’s despairing because men want Him dead but  if that’s not bad enough to add insult to injury

I feel betrayed because people don't just want me dead also

People bad mouth me  v5a

“My enemies tell lies about me.”

If I slander you, I say something untrue and therefore hurtful.

So there are those who want to destroy his physical present and his personal reputation

David can handle his environment He been a shepherd so he’s used to the out doors but what he’s not used to is that Saul wants Him dead and men are slandering Him.

We live in a fallen world with other fallen people who are fallen and evil and serve Satan and hurt us.


But God has a greater purpose in our suffering and that is that our lives become totally and utterly dependant on God.


We need emotional healing and relational healing. Where will we get it? Only in God


When we despair  we prayer to God


Jesus was betrayed


Jesus was forsaken by God. He cried from the cross;  “My God my God why have you forsaken me?”


When we despair we can prayer to God


Because  a greater David prayed when he despaired


During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Hebrews 5:7


So people want me dead  and  bad mouth me 


2   God    

How did David respond? He prays – He has no way out, He has no means of rescue from curtain betrayal and death.

 It’s not about me – v1  I’m self forgetful

“Save me, O God,” v1a 
“vindicate me” v1c

He cries out SAVE ME  in Hebrew parallelism the first line is often interpreted by the second line so save me by judging my case. How can he say that?


He literally prays  ; Make me safe by being my umpire, contend for me, my judge

When I feel injustice who says that?

Don’t we feel judged God’s out to get me, He doesn’t love me.


Jesus submitted to God’s judgement for us


What did the Apostle Paul say?


1 Corinthians 4:3-4

“ I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.”

David here is not praying that God would save his soul, that He would make him a Christian. “ Save me, O God, by your name and vindicate me by Your might.” The salvation David prayers for is vindication, that God would judge his case.

Christ was vindicated by his resurrection from the dead.

So betrayal it’s not ultimately about us;

It’s about you God – v1  your mighty Name, the glory of your name

Literally your name which is mighty

From my good name -  to his mighty name He is my identity when I’m weak – It’s all about the fame of His name in my despair God – is powerful.  


David knew the power of invoking God’s name. Remember his words when he is fighting the giant Goliath?


 “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  1 Samuel  17:45

Therefore listen to me God – v2     because this is about you

Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.


So  it’s not about me it’s about you God and the honour and glory of your mighty name.


And we recall that; “You shall call His name Jesus referring to Christ.”  Matthew 1:21


3  God Is there  


As the judge –  v5,7b    

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
  in your faithfulness destroy them.

  and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes. 7b


God has judged my case in Christ and will judge those who injure me because they have broken his law – thou shall not kill,

Thou shall not bear false witness

Notice V 3 Selah – Behold – The worship pauses  – why? Because as we shall see God answers His prayer in an amazing way

David is now certain God has heard him, so he spontaneously rejoices in God’s help, and makes a promise to worship God. How can he if he is already in the temple worshipping God?

Let’s see how He says He is there...

As my helper -  v 4, 7      


Surely God is my help;
  the Lord is the one who sustains me.

You have delivered me from all my troubles,


Why are you my helper? Because your’ve got me  out of trouble and done payback  on my enemies? No because in my deliverance you have shown yourself mighty  again.

What did Job experience?


 “ I heard of thee, now I see thee.” Job 42:5  

 God went from Job from being a concept to a reality. 

‘I know God cares for me but I can’t help but feel unloved.’ Jonathan Edwards would say that to us when we say that. ‘You clearly don’t know that God cares for you. You haven’t felt that reality. Once you feel that God cares you’ll act as if God cares.’

True religion’s more than notion (Concept) something must be known and felt – Jospeh Hart

So God is there as myjudge and helper 

Therefore I’ll worship you    v6

 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
 I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.


Why  does he say this? Because we are made for worship.  God this is about your glory therefore I glorify you – so he’s preparing for Heaven just as we are doing tonight in worship.

Why can we bring a sacrifice of praise? Because Christ is our Sacrifice

What is our response to this? “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit o four lips, giving thanks to His name.”  Hebrews 13:15  


“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me.”   Psalm 50:23

But also Jesus is presented as the living Christ who sings in the midst of the congregation in the new temple in heaven.

 “I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You
.” Hebrews 2:12


Why can he sing in the midst of the congregation? Because mercy meet in justice in Himself.

Listen to some of the words of a Hymn by Vernon Higham 

Great is the gospel of our glorious God,
where mercy met the anger of God’s rod;


Where did mercy met the anger of God’s rod;

At  the cross


At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,

What does he receive a sight of? God is his helper 


How is God his helper?

a penalty was paid and pardon bought,
and sinners lost at last to Him were brought:


And we who are Christians can sing with him;


O let the praises of my heart be Thine,
for Christ has died that I may call Him mine,
that I may sing with those who dwell above,
adoring, praising Jesus, King of love.


So if God is my helper in my salvation can’t he help, sustain and deliverer me in betrayal?


Of course He can so next time you are betrayed by someone in pray recall this Psalm believing God is there for you as your helper and sustainer.

Why was David able to pen this wonderful Psalm?


Because God was there in his betrayal


He was only rescued by an invasion of the Philistines, which forced Saul to retreat.

What do we read in 1 Samuel 23:26-29

26 Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them.

27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape.[a] 29 

If your not a Christian God says, “You’ve betrayed me." How

Your so concerned about how people view you

Or your always always blaming someone else

Or your constantly thinking your better than everyone else.

Or your always worshipping someone or thing instead of Me

You desperately need God’s mercy to met the anger of God’s rod;


How are you receive that mercy?


Because Christ  paid the penalty and pardon bought,
and you a  sinner lost at last to Him can be brought to God.


Where does that mercy come from?


The cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,

Cast your burden on Christ tonight, He’s calling you to do it, it’s time

And the burden of your heart will rolled away,
And there by faith you’ll receive your sight


And say with David 


Surely God is my help;
  the Lord is the one who sustains me.

You have delivered me from all my troubles,

Psalm 54:4,7











Last Updated on Monday, 09 September 2013 12:34  

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