God’s Deliverance

The final verse of Psalm 54 describes a sudden reversal. The first verses describe a dire situation, prompting David to plead for God’s help. By verse 7, his despondency has turned to triumph. His declaration, “He has delivered me from all trouble,” is past tense. Hebrew literature often uses the perfect tense to declare a future event “as good as done.”

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Rest in God’s Faithfulness

As David’s lament (Psalm 54) over the grind of difficult people draws to a close, he turns from bitter resentment to find rest in God’s faithfulness. David has named his enemies and acknowledged their sins, and he has surrendered his right to justice, placing them in God’s hands. As a result, David finds peace.

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Leave Vengeance to God

David could have written a whole book of poems lamenting the host of enemies surrounding him. Enemies in Saul’s court. Enemies among the priests. Enemies in the surrounding territories. Enemies everywhere! But in Psalm 54, he devotes only three lines (54:1–3) to naming his problem people. He, instead, quickly turned his mind’s eye to focus on his divine advocate.

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Sin Distorts the Truth

As David’s celebration song about God’s forgiveness continues, he recognizes that confession is costly. He also acknowledges the fact that we have a window of opportunity that may, one day, close. Consequently, he prays for God’s future provision. Provision for Future Needs: Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

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The Bitter Price of Secret Sin

David’s celebration of God’s forgiveness takes a dark turn as he recalls his anguished past. He remembers—perhaps accompanied by a gloomy minor key—the days of misery he spent in the isolation of secret sin. Reflection on Past Sins: When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away. Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

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From Self-deception to Relief

I once asked my sister, Luci, to name the emotion she considered the most powerful and enjoyable of all. She surprised me with her answer: relief. After thinking for a moment, I had to agree. Relief is everyone’s favorite feeling! David’s song about forgiveness begins with a celebration of relief, which he found in God’s forgiveness of his transgression.

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Living under the Cloud of Guilt

Your conscience may be invisible but it is certainly not inactive! Who hasn’t been kept awake by its pleadings? With incredible regularity, an unforgiven conscience can rob us of an appetite, steal our sleep, and drive us to distraction. Do you remember Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting short story “The Tell-Tale Heart”? The main character has committed murder.

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An Attitude of Gratitude

King David knew the sting of unjust treatment as keenly as anyone in history. To keep mistreatment from undermining his relationship with God, he put some resolutions into a song. Having committed to remaining open before the Lord and to remembering His love, David committed to letting God be the judge of others’ sin. Resolved: I will refuse the temptation to get even.

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Open before the Lord

As David endured unfair treatment despite his doing what was right, He cried out to God in the verses of Psalm 26. As we read his anguished lyrics, we will uncover some resolutions David made which kept him (and will keep us) from slipping into bitterness and resentment during times of mistreatment. Resolved: I will be open before the Lord (26:2).

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Mistreated, Misjudged, and Maligned

If I were asked to give a popular title to Psalm 26, it would be: “How to Do Right When You’ve Been Done Wrong.” We have all been “done wrong,” haven’t we? Maybe that describes your circumstance right now: an intolerable working situation; a husband, wife, parent, or child who takes unfair advantage of you even when you have treated him or her kindly; a friend who has turned against you due to a misunderstanding of something you did with only the purest of motives. Such feelings grind away at our peace so severely we wonder if we can continue.

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