“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
My salvation and my God”Psalm 42:5
Though David wastes no time in Psalm 54 getting to his imperative requests to save, vindicate, hear, and give ear, in the midst of his grave concerns for those godless strangers who have risen against him and seek his life, he quickly follows with an expression of wonder and praise. In verse 4 he says, “Behold.” What does he draw our attention toward? Three things:
i) His unmerited grace
“God is my helper”; a consistent element of David’s life is the humble wonder that the Sovereign Lord is with him.
ii) His practical faithfulness
“The Lord is the upholder of my life.” It is not in the mighty men aligned with David that he roots his trust, but the Lord.
iii) His justice
“He will return the evil to my enemies.” One outworking of the Lord faithfulness is his obligations toward both righteousness and evil. This is one fundamental belief that helps David not to take vengeance into his own hands (see 1 Samuel 24).
“Behold, God is my helper”. As David considered the enemies before him, it is his joy to set his eyes upon the Lord, his helper. Moreover, though some encouragement may be found in the mighty men he counts as his supporters, he sets his eyes upon the one whose support is better than the help of all men, the Lord who upholds his life. Overwhelmed by the presence, help, upholding, and power at his side he cries, ‘Behold’.
Something to Apply:
To what, or to whom, do our eyes turn in the midst of turmoil and trial? The reality of God’s promise to save, vindicate, and uphold his children ought to engender wonder and praise toward him. What does the number or ferocity of foe matter in the face of the One who will not be opposed? “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)” is an unconditional promise to all believers of all ages. A promise not based on your strength, but God’s. What care do we have for the defiance of a foe when we have the defence of the King!