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Singing Psalm 54 you value the truth

Singing Psalm 54 you value the truth as you trust God’s protection

Your present circumstances look ugly and feel hopeless.

You are suffering.

What to do?

Give thanks, and recognize, hate, and disdain falsehood. Love and value the truth.

Your circumstances look beautiful and feel great.

You are rejoicing.

What to do?

Give thanks and recognize, hate, and disdain falsehood. Love and value the truth.

You might be going through what looks to be some of the ugliest circumstances you could imagine. You bring it all before the Lord in faith that he is true and will bring good from it. Take heart because in the exact circumstances you are going through, God is working eternal good since your faith in what he will do is invisible.

The ugly thing you see is temporary, transient, fading. The beautiful thing you don’t yet see is eternal, and that is what you are certain of. Your hope is in what you don’t see, and you value the truth of it. And each day your faith grows and grows until one day, the Lord grows it up to the point where you don’t need it or hope anymore. Your faith will one day become sight.

“By your name, O God, now save me;    Grant me justice by your strength.” ~ Psalm 54:1

You can bear your soul to the Lord. No need to be concerned about social correctness; you value the truth as you tell him exactly what you are thinking, and how you feel.

Boast not when things go your way but that you know God and value the truth.

Despair not when things go against you understanding that God is protecting you not from but in your suffering.

David had two opportunities to destroy Saul who, instigated by a song that featured them comparatively, had a jealous eye on David and made himself David’s enemy. Saul repaid good with evil because God was not in his thoughts, only what other people thought about him.

David trusted not in his own power to save himself but in God’s lovingkindness toward him in his affliction that drew him close to God. David knew that God’s eye was on him and that the Lord himself would ultimately remove Saul from harming him.

“To these words of mine give answer;

O my God, now hear my prayer.” ~ Psalm 54:2

David and those like him who live by faith and not by sight value the truth and trust God’s provision and protection rather than trust the lie that says you can save yourself or the lie that precedes it that says you are your reputation, who people say you are.

“Strangers have come up against me,    Even men of violence.And they seek my life’s destruction;    God is not within their thoughts.” ~ Psalm 54:3

David knew deep down that he would one day look on his enemy in triumph since he, like Jesus with Judas, did not repay evil for evil, but faithfully did Saul good. He resisted the pull to focus on managing his impressions in the eyes of others but cared instead at this juncture of his life only about what God thought of him. 

David trusted God who promised to be with him in all that he had for him to do. Yet, you see how he had loved his enemy by the way he mourned Saul’s death when it finally did come to pass.

The shepherd, David, became a man who shed much blood on the earth to subdue and destroy God’s enemies. Jesus, the son of David, shed his own blood to build God‘s house, his church, his very own body that he disciplines, cares for, loves, and with whom he dwells forever as their great shepherd.

It might be that you feel burdened as you attempt to figure out how to save yourself and others from the troubles that you and they face. Jesus relieves you of all these burdens when you bring them to him. 

Listen to his voice and learn from him who is highly skilled in gentleness and lowliness. Value the truth of his supremacy, and you will find rest for your soul in him alone.

Singing Psalm 54 you value the truth as you face opposition

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,    and between your offspring and her offspring;he shall bruise your head,    and you shall bruise his heel.” ~ Genesis 3:15

It has been said that the rest of the Bible can be considered an extended footnote to Genesis 3:15 as God reverses the curse  the curse of the fall.

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” ~ 1 John 3:8

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ~ Luke 19:10

Jesus destroys evil in each one of his people in order to bring about their salvation. As his heel was bruised, we will have affliction for a time. As Satan’s head was bruised, his executive center will forever be disabled from scheming to bring harm to those who trust in Jesus to save them.

You value the truth as you address those who are strangers to God. They are alien to God simply because they do not think about God. Though they are insolent and arrogant, you filter your thoughts through a sieve of love before any words you say. You speak graciously to them because of God’s grace toward you.

When David was given the opportunity to speak to Saul and value the truth over lies, he reasoned with him respectfully even while he was being hunted down like a wild animal hunts for prey.

Those who are most uncomfortable with the imprecatory elements of the psalms seem to have little reason to cry out to God. Either they do not perceive that they have any trouble from oppressors or somehow feel that they are safe from harm without asking God to intervene and protect them against those who oppose him in their schemes to hurt others.

You value the truth when, acknowledging the spiritual battle you are in, you ask God to subdue and destroy his and your enemies in the spiritual realm while you continue to do good even toward those who do not value the truth, who have been taken captive by evil and seek your harm.

It does you good to remember that whoever or whatever seeks your harm are God’s enemies first, even if your own thoughts are set up to harm you. If your thoughts have been stolen and taken captive by lies, you are directed to steal them right back, and take them captive making them obedient to Christ.

You ask and trust that God can save his people from the lies they have bought and lead them to value the truth as he has done for you.

You value the truth that the triune God will deal with your enemies. He will either destroy their proclivity toward evil, use their own evil against them, or send enemies, angels, war, natural disasters, or pestilence to destroy evil.

Perhaps you were given the back hand of fellowship because of something as innocuous as being new to the area and could not compare to those who have been friends from birth. It’s nothing you did but it hurts just the same and can weaken you unless you are aware of the best friend you always have with you and have had since your birth, before your birth, nay, before the creation of the world!

And watch God transform your other relationships. If you have ever wondered, “What am I, chopped liver?” Wonder no more. You will be like a sweet-smelling flower in a beautiful garden surrounded by good friends, other sweet-smelling flowers, many of whom were those that formerly gave you the back hand of fellowship. This is how God will restore all things. Wait for it!

When you am weak, you are strong. The grace of his presence is sufficient for you.

You value the truth, when you understand that joy and suffering are not mutually exclusive. It is not suffering that is the antithesis of joy, but rather idolatry (Matt Papa) and comparisons (Ray Cummings).

John Beeson of The Bee Hive adds that comparisons not only steal joy, but also humility, repentance, and worship.

The only comparison that is any good is the comparison that causes you to be better not just look better, that leads you to love and admire those who are better than you. 

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” ~ Matty Mullins

“It’s OK to focus on yourself when life gets challenging.” ~ Quote from this week’s CVS coupon mailer

Use the ability God gave you to think to value the truth so that you will not be a paradoxical “dumb” smart person who focuses on, depends on, and in essence, worships self.

Rather, aim to be a smart “dumb” person readily admitting that in the most important things in life you don’t know what to do so that you value the truth that God is both good and strong. You focus on, depend on, and worship God and not yourself. 

Together with his people, his church, your eyes are on the One who makes the wisdom of the wise foolish and the strength of the strong weak. He enables you to be a part of his family where you bear the family resemblance more and more each day as you grow in serving, giving, and following Jesus.

Singing Psalm 54 you value the truth as you leave vengeance to God

Grudges and bitterness are poisons you drink of deeply in hopes that the other person will die. They kill you because you weren’t created to wield those swords. Vengeance and retribution belong to the Lord. 

You can trust him to bring about justice and pay back evil. Your heart was not meant for that job. Even when you pursue legal justice, you can entrust it to the Lord and guard your heart, the wellspring of life. 

God is good at paying back evil. He doesn’t always do it right away, but he always does it the right way. He often uses the person’s snare to catch him. It is his job. He is good at it. 

It is not your job. It is not my job. Sometimes justice is served in this life. The rest of the time justice will be served in the life to come. You value the truth that in either case, justice will be served.

That said, if you are aware of people oppressing other people by breaking God’s law and justifying it with a law of man, respectfully contact your lawmakers asking that they would put into motion to revoke unethical, illegal laws of man. 

Report those who are guilty of crimes to the authorities who are put in place as instruments in God’s hand to bring about justice. Those who do it right are merciful in the way they go about seeking justice.

If you personally avenge crimes that others commit, then you will be liable and brought to justice for it.

For lawbreakers who trust him, Jesus served the justice for each one’s soul. He paid the price for you to live a new life free and clear so that you could walk in it unencumbered by whatever you have done in the past even as you might be in prison for some of those things or even if you suffer the natural consequences of estrangement or alienation that follow relational strife. Jesus offers hope, repentance, and comfort both to the oppressor and to the oppressed.

Jesus was perfectly patient with sinners like David and Paul to give you hope as you believe in him, that though you are a sinner, eternal life awaits you as he promises to complete the good work he began in you.  There was at least one season when David was uncharacteristically his own worst enemy and deserved to be destroyed for his own evil.

But at the time he penned Psalm 54, his thoughts were centered on God as he respected Saul even though Saul sought to do evil to David continually. He respected that God placed Saul in authority and trusted that God would take him out of authority when he deemed it best.

In spite of his sins, David’s heart was characteristically after God’s own heart since he appreciated and responded to God’s grace and mercy often searching out ways to be gracious and merciful to others.

The moment of truth when you know whether or not you value the truth is: are willing to suffer with integrity?

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Truth is not relative. Truth is objective and absolute. Jesus is the truth and the only way to the Father. Ask God to help you die to yourself now, moment-by-moment, day-by-day, rejecting what is false though it might be parading all around you as truth. Plead with the Lord to help you love and value the truth, trusting him for the ‘whens’ and the ‘hows’ that God will indeed give you a new and better life, moment-by-moment, day-by-day as you live by faith and not by sight.

God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will give you the fortitude to value the truth enough to die for it. Death always precedes resurrection.

When you value the truth, it is obvious to all:

“See how God has been my helper,   How my LORD sustains my soul:To my foes he pays back evil —   In your truth destroy them all!” ~ Psalm 54:4-5

You will one day learn war no more when the Lord, in his mercy toward you, will either turn oppressors to himself, which is your heart’s desire, or destroy them so that others would not be harmed by those who love lies and won’t value the truth.

“He shall judge between the nations,        and shall decide disputes for many peoples;    and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,        and their spears into pruning hooks;    nation shall not lift up sword against nation,        neither shall they learn war anymore.” ~ Isaiah 2:4

God’s name is his character, the total sum of who he is. He glorifies his name every time he shows you mercy. The great peacemaker will settle all disputes. He will save you by his name, by all that he is.

He listens to your pleas and answers you. His glory is his mercy toward those who are oppressed as he grants them justice from their oppressors. 

Singing Psalm 54 you value the truth leaving vengeance to God. Waiting on him, you are merciful toward the unmerciful. Thus, you share in his glory.

“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.“ ~ Romans 5:19

“I will sacrifice with gladness;  Your good name, I’ll praise, O LORD.He has saved me from all trouble;    I have looked on all my foes.” ~ Psalm 54:6-7

May 26-June 2, 2023


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