1 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David. When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, “Is not David hiding among us? ”
Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. 3 Strangers are attacking me; ruthless men seek my life—men without regard for God. Selah
4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. 5 Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.
6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.
Saved, delivered, praying
(Verses 1-3) David is persecuted by King Saul and opposed by people from Ziph, the desert which David uses to flee from Saul. The Ziphites are apostate Israelites who help Saul, although they reject Saul’s God, and are also against David.
David’s opening prayer is good for anyone to pray at any time, anywhere: ‘Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.’ This is good in any time of trouble or need. It is also a great response to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because He took my punishment for my sin when He died as a perfect sacrifice for my sins on the cross, and because He rose again and lives eternally with power, He saves and vindicates me. I was sorry for my sins. I turned from them. I received Him into my life as my living Lord.
‘Vindicate’ pictures a court trial where the accused is declared ‘not guilty’ after the facts are examined. I am now ‘justified’ when justice is applied. I am ‘justified’ and ‘vindicated’ because my sins are put onto Jesus’ account. He paid for them by His shed blood and His perfect righteousness, which God counts as mine by faith in Him, though I am sinful. If you have not prayed like this yet, will you ask Christ to ‘save’ and ‘vindicate’ you?
It is by God’s ‘name’ we are saved. ‘Jesus’ means ‘God saves’. He does! Once you know Jesus as your Saviour, you also find He answers your prayers, which you will pray because you love Him now.
Pray, ‘Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might.’ This will lead you to ask the Lord, ‘Hear my prayer, O God, give ear to the words of my mouth.’ Can you pray like that? Now?
(Verses 4-5) Always, and when opposed, you will find ‘God is my Help’ in so many ways. He also upholds those Christians who uphold you in prayer. Prayer is a means of grace and blessing given by God to all who trust in Jesus. As you pray for others God blesses you, too! David is a physical king, fighting physical battles and wars with physical foes and enemies. The way we ‘fight’ any who decide to be our physical foes today, is on a different and spiritual level. We must pray that God will convict them of sin, as he did with us, save them, and make them want to follow Him. We should show them Christ’s love and grace, even if they hate us and seek to harm us. Through God, we can win this battle, in His strength and for His glory.
(Verses 6-7) See how David now builds on his relationship with his saving Lord. He will ‘sacrifice a freewill offering’ to God. That is more than making Old Testament sacrifices: it means you start by giving the Lord your heart. Missionary pioneer, C T Studd, said, ‘If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.’ Blessings flow from such an attitude. Like David, you will thank the Lord who delivered you ‘out of trouble’. If you seek your enemies’ blessing, that pleases God, blesses others, and blesses you too! It starts with praying that first prayer we looked at in verse 1!