You have delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes. — Psalm 54:7
Sometimes salvation comes from God before we even know that we are in danger. Other times, we are well aware of impending danger; we pray for God’s help, and we notice that we are saved from our troubles. However, there are also times when we know that serious troubles are headed our way, and we beseech God for salvation, and yet, it does not come – at least not right away.
This kind of waiting for salvation is the subject of Psalm 54. As the introduction indicates, this psalm was written when the Ziphites betrayed David to King Saul, who was out to kill him. When we take a look at the context of this event in 1 Samuel 23, their betrayal becomes even more severe.
David had been on the run from Saul, going from one place to the next, until finally, he found quiet in the desert of Ziph. David knew that Saul was still looking for him, but as Scripture tells us, God did not allow Saul to find David. Jonathan, Saul’s own son but David’s staunch supporter, even came to David in order to strengthen him in faith, promising him that God would protect him and that he would one day be king. David’s heart was eased and things quieted down.
At this point, Saul actually gave up and went home. After all that time Saul spent looking for David, it appeared to finally be over. David breathed a huge sigh of relief. And that’s exactly when the Ziphites – who had known all along that David was hiding in their midst – went and betrayed him. They went to Saul and told him exactly where David was hiding.
This is when David prayed. He had been given up, betrayed. But he didn’t give up his faith in God. In the last verse of this psalm, he affirmed his faith in God, saying, “You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.” In essence, David was saying that as bad as things looked, he knew that God, Who had saved him from everything else, would come through for him again.
And God did.
At the last minute, just as Saul was about to capture David, God sent a messenger who informed Saul of a “surprise” attack from the Philistines. Saul was forced to leave David alone in order to protect Israel. In the eleventh hour, David was saved.
I want to encourage us all to never give up on God’s salvation. Even when it seems that time has run out and we are out of options, God can still save us. Just as He has millions of times before, our God is able bring about miracles – even in the eleventh hour.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President