Even though no one is pursuing me as Saul was pursuing David when he wrote this psalm, I can still make the same pleas and declarations.
Verse 1: “Save me, O God, by Your name.”
It is only in God’s name that I have salvation. It’s only through God that I am free of the influence of Satan and the consequences of succumbing to his temptations – which come from my willful nature (James 1:12-15).
Verse 2: “Hear my prayer, O God.”
Question: This thought just occurred to me: It’s been said that one of the blessings of being in Christ is that we have direct access to God in prayer, whereas in the Old Testament, they had to go through a priest. David apparently had direct access. Was he an exception to the rule?
Personal application: This is a good plea to make in every prayer, that God will hear my voice. (Maybe we shouldn’t take that for granted!)
Repeating that plea will remind me of the kind of person I need to be if I dare to approach the throne of the Creator, the God of the universe – not in fear, but with respect for His holiness. It also reminds me of what a great privilege it is for me – an ordinary person in an ordinary town among ordinary people – to approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).
Verse 4: “Behold, God is my helper: The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.”
How easy that is to forget. How often I need to be reminded of that! Because I work at home, I have innumerable choices during the day. No small or school-age children dictate my schedule. Almost everything I do is either a choice of the moment or the consequence of a commitment I’ve made.
Yet how many times do I call on God’s help — especially when it’s a matter of setting spiritual priorities? David reminds me that God will help. He will sustain my soul.
Verse 6: “Willingly I will sacrifice to you.”
David doesn’t specify the size of the sacrifice. It could be something as simple as writing a check; it could be sacrificing my physical life in His cause.
Once I’ve made that commitment, once I’ve grown to that point of meaning that statement, it won’t matter. Because then I’ll also be able to repeat Paul’s declaration, “It is not I who live but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Verse 6: “I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good.”
I notice in verse 4, the word “Lord” is not in small caps. As my Lord – my master – he sustains my soul. When I thank Him, I address Him as YHWH.
Contrary to those in the world who either deny or resent God, I believe His name is good. It’s not to be associated with the evil that happens in the world, for suffering is ultimately Satan’s doing and the work of those who follow him.
God protects us from the enemy. He defends us, He sustains us, and He helps us. He is faithful to His children (verse 5), and He has delivered us from distress (verse 7).