He Has Delivered Me
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”
1O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might.
2O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.
3For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah
4Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.
6With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
Another psalm with a story attached! This time, David is continuing to run from the murderous King Saul and he hides among his own tribe of Judah with this Ziphites. In a traitorous move to garner favor with Saul, they go to the king and tell him that David is hiding near them.
1 Samuel 23:19-29
19Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon? 20Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, and our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand.” 21And Saul said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, for you have had compassion on me. 22Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning. 23See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.” 24And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” 28So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape. 29And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.
Now that you know the story, read the psalm again. Just knowing the circumstances under which David wrote these words helps to bring them to life. His situation is dire. His life is in danger. When David uses the word “enemies” he’s not kidding. Saul wants to take his life! So David does the wisest thing – he turns to God and begs for protection. David is not a man without resources. He has weapons, followers (who later are called “The Mighty Men” – these guys are fearless and well trained!) and the power of God on his side. And yet he still turns to God instead of his own abilities for help. This is a magnificent role model.
The tenor of this psalm swings from a desperate plea for help to confident trust that all is well in the hands of God. And who of us has not been in that exact spot. But the clincher in this prayer is found in verse 7; for he has delivered me from every trouble. One cannot help but notice that it is spoken in past tense. The deliverance has already been accomplished. There is nothing to fear. We don’t know exactly when in the midst of this event David wrote/spoke these words but it is clear that his confidence was certain. God had protected him in the past and would continue to do so. His deliverance was already a given.
Our deliverance is already a given as well. Paul penned the exact same concept over a 1,000 years later when he wrote his letter to the Romans.
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No matter what happens Jesus has conquered all. I can turn to Him for every single detail, large or small and be confident of His total and complete victory on my behalf. I might still be chased by the enemy, but that enemy will not win for in the end, I belong to God and He will never let me go.