The Lord is the Upholder of My Life (Psalm 54)

Dear Wanderers,

So, this whole “God randomly waking me up before 5a.m.” is my new normal apparently. Not complaining, merely observing. I find it rather amusing honestly. He asks me to do something that, normally, would be out of my comfort zone, something I wouldn’t think of initiating myself, knowing He has the power and ability to sustain me. Smart guy.

Psalm 54

In this 2nd post of “Pre-Dawn Musings” (I’m trying that out, what’d you think?), I want to focus on Psalm 54. I read this, and other Psalms, yesterday and verse 4 jumped out at me, but I’m getting ahead of myself. In this Psalm, the Psalmist, David, writes as he’s hiding from King Saul again:

1 O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might. 2 O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah

4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. 5 He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them. 6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Psalm 54, emphasis added on verse 4 (ESV)

Breaking Down Psalm 54:1-4

David understood—and I pray we learn to understand this too—that the only hope of salvation was and is through the name of God and him alone. Nothing else.

In verse 3, David refers to the men chasing him on Saul’s account as “strangers” and “ruthless men” who “do not set God before themselves.” They are ruthless as a result of not actively setting God before them; if they had, they wouldn’t have followed Saul’s orders. I might be reading too much into this, but when I read that, I am immediately reminded of Peter’s call in 1 Peter 3:15 to “set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts” so that we can give a reason for our hope in Christ.

Verse 4 is… remarkable, given the context of David’s life. David, who was hiding in the country, is betrayed by the men of Ziphim. These men were not worthy to be called Israelites and they deliberately, on their own, told Saul where David was hiding and promised to hand-deliver him! Betrayal doesn’t get much worse than that. And yet, David, in faith, says “the Lord is the upholder of my life.” I love that.


Reminding myself of the Psalmist’s words, that Adonai—“the Lord” in Hebrew— is “the upholder of my life” is something I need to practice daily. God is the one keeping me, holding all the cards in his hand.

Knowing that, we who have put our faith in his name can breathe more easily, let ourselves relax in him, learn to enjoy him more. We don’t have to be in control of every little thing and we don’t have to panic about losing control because he is upholding everything that concerns us.

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