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Psalm chapter 54

What does Psalm chapter 54 mean?

This song was inspired by the people of Ziph's betrayal of David. Saul had been rejected by God (1 Samuel 15:26), and jealously wanted to have David killed (1 Samuel 19:2). While David hid in the region of Ziph, where he should have been safe among fellow Judahites, the people instead went to Saul and told him where David was hiding. In fact, they did this twice, forcing David to flee multiple times (1 Samuel 23:19–20, 23–25; 26:1–2).

David begins by praying for the Lord's rescue. He describes those who want to kill him as "strangers," which in this context means people who act as enemies. He asks for God's vindication: to be proven in the right (Psalm 54:1–3).

After asking for rescue, David expresses supreme confidence that God will keep him alive. Rather than seeking revenge himself, David puts all retribution in the Lord's hands. During these incidents, David had two opportunities to kill Saul, but in both cases, he chose not to kill the then-appointed king of Israel (1 Samuel 24:4–8; 26:8–17). Because of God's prior protection, David is fully assured he will live to return to the sanctuary and offer voluntary sacrifices to the Lord (Psalm 54:4–7).
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