Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Protect Me

Psalm 54

I. Troubles Summon Believers to Prayer

A. When David was betrayed to his enemies, he turned to God and pled for protection on the grounds of God’s grace; faith kills anxiety. To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us? Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.” (Psalm 54:1)

1. See the context in 1 Samuel 23:19-29; the people with whom David was hiding betrayed him to Saul. “Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.” (1 Samuel 23:19-20)

2. Jesus was betrayed in a similar way. “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” (Matthew 26:14-16)

B. Until one has turned a problem over to God, nothing much has been done to resolve the problem and once it has been handed over to God, everything else is less significant. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 54:2) “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46)

C. No enemy amounts to much when God backs a believer. “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

D. God promised Abraham, the father of the faithful, that He would protect him; God has a personal interest in the people of faith. “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

E. Enemies do not understand the relationship between God and His people; God does not save souls to ignore them. “For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.” (Psalm 54:3)

II. God Takes Care of His People

A. God lifts His people out of their troubles and He often uses other believers to help. “Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.” (Psalm 54:4)

B. The enemies of God’s people are tedious and wear poorly. “Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isaiah 50:9) C. Eventually, God’s people do triumph over those who oppose them. “Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.” (Deuteronomy 33:29) D. People who seek to hurt God’s people hurt themselves. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.” (Psalm 54:5)

E. Paul made David’s point in the New Testament. “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:17-18)

III. Now Is a Good Time for Thanking God

A. God’s compassion is so great that a believer can begin to thank Him when the prayer is finished. “I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.” (Psalm 54:6)

B. God is so interested in His people that He actually answers their needs before they even seek help. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)

C. God has a record of delivering His people which encourages them to expect future help for themselves and appropriate treatment for their tormenters. “For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.” (Psalm 54:7)

D. Life can be difficult but God delivers His own. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19)

E. Jesus was only moments from Paradise as He hung on the cross. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

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