1. The Pleading Psalm 54:1-3
Text: “Save, O God, by Thy Name, and judge me by Thy strength.” Psalm 54:1.
Good morning, Christian besieged by enemies, fears, and anxieties! If this sense of being Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally besieged describes how you feel this morning, please join the club – for the author is right down there with you in that ‘...slough of despond...’, as Bunyan puts it in his Pilgrim’s Progress, and both you and I need to run swiftly to our place of personal prayer, to humbly plead with the Lord God Jehovah, for His help. Let us do so immediately. Selah: Now think upon this in solemn prayer for God’s help.
2. The Praise! Psalm 54:4-7
Text: “Behold (look closely, and fully understand), 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.”
Good morning, delivered Christian! You have been - with the author - down wallowing in the depths of dread, fears, and anxieties for far too long, and have suffered much down there. However, our sufferings have driven us to the only One that can deliver us from all fear and dread – we have taken our humble, reverent pleadings to the throne of God’s ever-given grace, and there found a Divine Helper Who not only cares for our besieged souls, but has gone to Calvary’s cruel Cross in our place, and suffered the just penalty for every sin we have ever, or shall ever, commit against our Holy Lord God. Hallelujah! What a Saviour we have in the Son of the Living Lord God, Jesus Christ the righteous! Glory to His Name!
“There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin...He only could unlock the gate of Heaven and let us in...” (Hymn: There is a Green Hill Far Away. Cecil Frances Alexander, 1848)
Is it not truly wonderful that, once the persecution, the fears, the dread and anxieties, have been lifted off by our Lord God’s grace – the sense of utter relief and deliverance is a very real and deep blessing indeed? When the city cruelly besieged for any given period finds such relief – that deliverance and relief bubbles over and out of hearts/voices in open praise.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles.” (Psalm 103:1-5)
“From verses 1 to 3, where the ‘Selah’ makes a pause for us, the Psalmist pleads with God, and then in the rest of the song, laying aside all doubt, he chants a hymn of joyful triumph. The vigour of faith is the death of anxiety and the birth of security.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 248)
True, God-given FAITH in Christ, is the only thing that can bring the besieged Christian up out of the horrors of deep depression, fear, dread, heartache, and prolonged grief. Every true Christian necessarily possesses this Divine gift of faith – but at times during our trials and Christian lives, we can be very slow to EXERCISE it to gain God’s promised relief. Thus, we prolong the dreadful experience, and leave ourselves to wallow in the realm of assumed Spiritual defeat and emotional pain. This should not be, dear friend!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it (God-given faith) the elders (early believers) obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were formed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear... By faith...” (Hebrews chapter 11 gives a Divine list of things which were accomplished by men/women only by the exercise of God-given faith!) (Hebrews 11:1-4)
Verse 4. “Behold, says he, I produce a certain fact, well known, demonstrated by a new proof, and worthy of all attention; for the particle behold contains this breadth of meaning.” (Hermann Venema, 1697-1787)
Verse 4. “Behold, God is my helper. He saw enemies everywhere, and now to his joy as he looks upon the band of his defenders, he sees One Whose aid is better than all the help of men; he is overwhelmed with joy at recognizing his Divine Champion and cries, Behold. And is not this a theme for pious exultation in all time, that the great God protects us, His own people: what matter the number or violence of our foes when He uplifts the shield of His omnipotence to guard us and the sword of His power to aid us? Little care we for the defiance of the foe while we have the defence of God.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 248)
“The Lord is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my Salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Psalm 18:2-3)
Verse 5. “He shall reward evil unto mine enemies. Let us not think for one moment that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, went all the way from Heaven to become man; all the way through life and its sufferings as a man for thirty-three years; all the way to the cruelty of the scourging, and the brutal buffeting; the shameful ridicule of sinful man; all the way to that fearful Cross of ultimate torture and pain – to bear the sins of ‘His people’ - only to let us suffer unnecessary sufferings at the hands of mere mortal enemies? Never! Christ has promised His judgements on all those that persecute, hinder, and harm the souls that bear His precious Blood of infinite Sacrifice.
“And He saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, BEHOLD (See and fully understand), I come quickly; and My reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:10-12)
Scoffers and persecutors of Christ’s followers BEWARE – ‘...the time is at hand...’!
Verse 6. “I will freely sacrifice unto Thee. Spontaneously will I bring my fee-will offerings. So certain is he of deliverance, that he offers a vow by anticipation. His overflowing gratitude would load the altars of God with victims cheerfully presented. The more we receive, the more we ought to render. The spontaneousness of our gifts is a great element in their acceptance; “...the Lord loveth a cheerful giver...” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 248)
Verse 6. “I will praise Thy Name.” “At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow...and... every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Verse 7. “For He hath delivered me out of all trouble. Sore, and profoundly hurtful are the troubles of Christians today – in this increasingly apostate 21st Century world. Yet, we have God’s promise before us: He will deliver us out of ALL trouble. Wait upon the Lord.
Thought: Psalm 54 contains a Pleading & a Praise. We do well to offer both to our God. Our Pleadings to Him, result in His ever-given help. Our praises quickly follow.