Reading through the Bible together
In this Psalm we have an urgent cry for help when the Ziphites disclosed to Saul David’s hiding place and offered to help him track David down. The Ziphites were of David’s tribe of Judah, yet they betrayed him to Saul. If you feel you have been betrayed by someone you thought you could trust, this Psalm is for you! Or in one sense is it not for all of us who live in this fearsome world where each day we need to fall on our knees and ask God to save us, to protect us and to sustain us?
The central idea of this Psalm is in verse 4: “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” That is why David turns to God in his distress. In Hebrew the first two verses begin with the same words: “O God!”—“O God, save me; O God, hear me.” David’s prayer is very simple and direct. When Peter was sinking, it was enough for him to cry, “Lord, save me”, and the hand of Jesus was immediately stretched out to save him. When you are in trouble, your prayers become very simple and direct, often a mere “Help, Lord.” God will not despise the simplicity of such a prayer.
David appeals to three divine qualities: “Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might…; in your faithfulness save me and destroy them.” God’s own name “Jehovah” is in Jesus our Savior’s name (Yeshua—Jehovah saves). Peter declared, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He is able to save because of His might: “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save” (Zeph 3:17). He saves us from what threatens us because He is ever faithful and true to the covenant He has made with His people.
David anticipates his rescue by saying, “I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.” A freewill offering is not forced, even not required; it’s a voluntary “extra” as a sign of gratitude to God our Saviour. When we have victory, we should acknowledge that it was because of God, or we may easily forget the time we cried out to Him for help and it was then that our situation changed.
Greater Sydney Conference