Good morning. It’s Monday. It’s Zeph@10am. And its Jenny.
I’m going to be looking at Psalm 54 (a bit) and the story surrounding it this morning. You might want to have a read now.
David wrote Psalm 54 about the time he was betrayed by the Ziphites to Saul, in the book of 1 Samuel. Reading these chapters in Samuel reminded me of a ridiculous Carry On film. David and his 600 men (quite a lot of people to try and hide) are running all over the region of Judah to escape Saul and his armies. Every time they hide in a stronghold, they get word that Saul knows where there are, and they have to up sticks and move to another hideout….. All 600 of them. No wonder that Saul kept finding out where they were!
Finally the farce reaches a climax. David and his 600 men are on one side of a mountain. Saul and his army is on the other. There’s no escape for David…. Saul is closing in….. Suddenly, up rides a messenger – “Sire, the Philistines are attacking Israel”. Saul has to call off his hunt of David, and return home to protect his people. If this was an action film, there would have been a moment of perilous suspense, with Saul’s horse stopping just short of the rock behind which David was hiding. If it was a Carry On film, no doubt David and his men would have stayed hidden for some hours, badly disguised as rocks and palm trees, wondering where the attacking army had disappeared to.
Where this story departs from a Carry On farce is the fact that David hasn’t been acting on his own stupidity. At every step he has asked God what he should do. He asked God if he should go to Keilah to protect the people of the town from the Philistines – God said yes – David went. David asked God if he should stay and fight in Keilah when he heard Saul was coming to attack him – God said no – David left. When he needed encouragement, God sent Jonathan to encourage him.
We linked to this song on our website yesterday…. I’ve listened to it a number of times since:
The words of the blessing that most cause my heart to sing (and my eyes to blur) are these :
May His presence go before you
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you.
When David wrote Psalm 54 he didn’t use these words, but I think they would resonate with him. By actively seeking God’s will and following his will, David was aware God’s presence with him. God was his helper. God kept him alive. God put an end to the plans of his enemies. God rescued him. When he was on the other side of the mountain, with Saul closing in on him, God provided a solution. God was in control of the situation. God was in with him.
And God is with us – In the morning, in the evening, In our coming, and our going, In our weeping, and rejoicing, He is for us – just like he was for David, thousands of years ago.
Stop for a few minutes and let the words of the blessing really sink in. And then, as David did, praise God’s name, ‘for it is good’.
As you go through your day, remember that God is already at the end of it, knowing all that it will hold. He’ll follow behind and help pick up the pieces if things go wrong, and he will be beside you and within you every step of the day. He is with you and he is for you. Amen.