Psalm 54:4
Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
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(4) With them . . .—Better, is a supporter of my life. So LXX. and Vulgate.

Psalm 54:4-5. Behold, God is my helper — Consider it, and see the vanity of all your wicked practices against me. The Lord is with them that uphold my soul — He fights for them, and on my behalf, and therefore against all mine enemies. He shall reward evil to mine enemies — He shall bring upon themselves the mischief they intended for me. Cut them off in thy truth — For, or according to, thy truth; whereby thou art engaged to fulfil thy promises made to me, and thy threatenings denounced against thine and mine implacable enemies.

54:4-7 Behold, God is mine Helper. If we are for him, he is for us; and if he is for us, we need not fear. Every creature is that to us, and no more, which God makes it to be. The Lord will in due time save his people, and in the mean time he sustains them, and bears them up, so that the spirit he has made shall not fail. There is truth in God's threatenings, as well as in his promises; sinners that repent not, will find it so to their cost. David's present deliverance was an earnest of further deliverance. He speaks of the completion of his deliverance as a thing done, though he had as yet many troubles before him; because, having God's promise for it, he was as sure of it as if it was done already. The Lord would deliver him out of all his troubles. May he help us to bear our cross without repining, and at length bring us to share his victories and glory. Christians never should suffer the voice of praise and thanksgiving to cease in the church of the redeemed.Behold, God is mine helper - That is, God alone can aid me in these circumstances, and to him I confidently look.

The Lord is with them that uphold my soul - My friends; those who have rallied around me to defend me; those who comfort me by their presence; those who sustain me in my cause, and who keep me from sinking under the burden of my accumulated troubles.

4. (Compare Ps 30:10).

with them—on their side, and for me (compare Ps 46:11).

4 Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.

5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.

7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

Psalm 54:4

"Behold, God is mine helper." He saw enemies everywhere, and now to his joy as he looks upon the band of his defenders he sees one whose aid is better than all the help of men; he is overwhelmed with a joy at recognising his divine champion, and cries, "Behold." And is not this a theme for pious exultation in all time, that the great God protects us, his own people: what matters the number or violence of our foes when he uplifts the shield of his omnipotence to guard us, and the sword of his power to aid us? Little care we for the defiance of the foe while we have the defence of God. "The Lord is with them that uphold my soul." The reigning Lord, the great Adonai is in the camp of my defenders. Here was a greater champion than any of the three mighties, or than all the valiant men who chose David for their captain. The Psalmist was very confident, he felt so thoroughly that his heart was on the Lord's side that he was sure God was on his side. He asked in the first verse for deliverance, and here he returns thanks for upholding: while we are seeking one mercy which we have not, we must not be unmindful of another which we have it is a great mercy to have some friends left us, but a greater mercy still to see the Lord among them, for like so many cyphers our friends stand for nothing till the Lord sets himself as a great unit in the front of them.

Psalm 54:5

"He shall reward evil unto mine enemies." They worked for evil, and they shall have their wages. It cannot be that malice should go unavenged. It were cruelty to the good to be lenient to their persecutors. It is appointed, and so it must ever be, that those who shoot upward the arrows of malice shall find them fall upon themselves. The recoil of their own gun has often killed oppressors. "Cut them off in thy truth." Not in ferocious revenge is this spoken, but as an Amen to the sure sentence of the just Judge. Let the veracity of thy threatenings be placed beyond dispute, the decree is right and just, let it be fulfilled. It is not a private desire, but the solemn utterance of a military man, a grossly injured man, a public leader destined to be a monarch, and a man well trained in the school of Moses, whose law ordains eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.

Psalm 54:6

"I will freely sacrifice unto thee." Spontaneously will I bring my free-will offerings. So certain is he of deliverance that he offers a vow by anticipation. His overflowing gratitude would load the altars of God with victims cheerfully presented. The more we receive, the more we ought to render. The spontaneousness of our gift is a great element in their acceptance; the Lord loveth a cheerful giver. "I will praise thy name, O Lord." As if no amount of sacrifice could express his joyful feelings, he resolves to be much in vocal thanksgiving. The name which he invoked in prayer (Psalm 54:1), he will now magnify in praise. Note how roundly he brings it out: "O Jehovah." This is ever the grand name of the revealed God of Israel, a name which awakens the sublimest' sentiments, and so nourishes the most acceptable praise. None can praise the Lord so well as those who have tried and proved the preciousness of his name in seasons of adversity. The Psalmist adds, "for it is food," and surely we may read this with a double nominative, God's name is good, and so is his praise, it is of great use to our souls to be much in praise; we are never so holy or so happy as when our adoration of God abounds. Praise is good in itself, good to us, and good to all around us. If David's enemies are described in the third verse as not setting God before them, he here declares that he is of a different mind from them, for he resolves to have the Lord in perpetual remembrance in his sacrifices and praises.

Psalm 54:7

"For he hath delivered me out of all trouble." Up to that time deliverance had come, and for that danger also he felt that rescue was near. David lived a life of dangers and hair-breadth 'scapes, yet was he always safe. In the retrospect of his very many deliverances he feels that he must praise God, and looking upon the mercy which he had sought as though it were already received, he sang this song over

"And a new song is in my mouth,

To long loved music set,


Behold; consider it, and see the vanity of all your wicked practices against me.

The Lord is with them that uphold my soul; he fights for them, and on my behalf, and therefore against all mine enemies.

Behold, God is mine helper,.... This being a matter of wonder to be helped in so extraordinary a manner, and a sure and certain case, and what was deserving the attention of others; for the encouragement of their faith and hope in like cases, a "behold" is prefixed unto it: and what is here said is true of David's son, the Messiah, and is expressed by him in much the same language, Isaiah 50:9; and of all the saints whom the Lord helps, as at first conversion, out of the pit wherein is no water, out of the horrible pit, the mire and clay of nature's darkness, ignorance, and unbelief; so out of all their afflictions and temptations, and out of the hands of all their enemies; he helps in the exercise of grace, and in the discharge of duty; and he helps to all mercies, temporal and spiritual, needful for them; which help is quick and present, seasonable and suitable, always sufficient; and is what they have reason to expect both from what he has said to them in promise, and from what he has done for them;

the Lord is with them that uphold my soul; that ministered to his sustenance, as Abigail did, and that gathered to him and joined him, and exposed their lives in the defence of him; these the Lord was with, blessed, protected, and afforded them his gracious presence. Such there were with Christ; who followed him in the regeneration; who ministered to him of their substance, whom God rewarded in a way of grace; and he blesses them that bless his, and do good to them; they being the excellent in the earth, in whom is his delight, the apple of his eye, and his jewels. Or the sense is, that the Lord is he that upheld his soul; not only the chief of his upholders, but the only one: so R. Moses (l) interprets it, that he is the alone upholder, and is instead of all upholders, and answers to them all; who upheld his soul in life, and followed him with his goodness: as when God is said to be the first, and "with the last", the meaning is, that he is the first and the last, Isaiah 41:4; see Psalm 118:7; so he upheld the soul of Christ in the wilderness, and in the garden, and on the cross; see Isaiah 42:1. And he upholds all his people in a providential way in their beings, and supplies them with all the necessaries of life; and, in a spiritual way, maintaining their spiritual life, supplying them with all grace, bearing them up under all trials, holding up their goings in his ways, and preserving them to the end.

(l) Apud Aben Ezram in loc.

Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with {d} them that uphold my soul.

(d) No matter how few, as he was with Jonathan.

4. God is mine helper] Taught by his past experience he can say not merely that God will help him, but that God is on his side, so that the issue cannot be doubtful.

the Lord is with them that uphold my soul] R.V., is of them that uphold my soul: perhaps better, is the Upholder of my soul. The expression is an idiomatic one, and “the sense is not that God is the support of the Psalmist among many others, but that He is so in a supreme degree, that He sums up in Himself the qualities of a class, viz. the class of helpers (so Psalm 118:7). Comp. Jdg 11:35, ‘Alas, my daughter, thou hast bowed me down; even thou art my greatest troubler.’ ” (Cheyne). For uphold cp. Psalm 3:5 (sustaineth); Psalm 51:12.

4–7. A confident expectation of deliverance and vow of thanksgiving.

Verse 4. - Behold, God is mine Helper. There is a pause between vers. 3 and 4, indicated by the pause-mark, "Selah." Then, confident of his prayer having been heard, the psalmist breaks out into a joyous burst of thankfulness and self-gratulation (vers. 4-7). The Lord is with them that uphold my soul; rather, of them (Revised Version); i.e. "one of them." But the intention is not to place God on a par with other helpers. Rather, as Professor Cheyne remarks, it is to make him the representative of" the class of helpers." Psalm 54:4(Heb.: 54:6-9) In this second half, the poet, in the certainty of being heard, rejoices in help, and makes a vow of thanksgiving. The בּ of בּסמכי is not meant to imply that God is one out of many who upheld his threatened life; but rather that He comes within the category of such, and fills it up in Himself alone, cf. Psalm 118:7; and for the origin of this Beth essentiae, Psalm 99:6, Judges 11:35. In Psalm 54:7 the Kerמ merits the preference over the Chethמb (evil shall "revert" to my spies), which would at least require על instead of ל (cf. Psalm 7:17). Concerning שׁררי, vid., on Psalm 27:11. In the rapid transition to invocation in Psalm 54:7 the end of the Psalm announces itself. The truth of God is not described as an instrumental agent of the cutting off, but as an impelling cause. It is the same Beth as in the expression בּנדבה (Numbers 15:3): by or out of free impulse. These free-will sacrifices are not spiritual here in opposition to the ritual sacrifices (Psalm 50:14), but ritual as an outward representation of the spiritual. The subject of הצּילני is the Name of God; the post-biblical language, following Leviticus 24:11, calls God straightway השּׁם, and passages like Isaiah 30:27 and the one before us come very near to this usage. The praeterites mention the ground of the thanksgiving. What David now still hopes for will then lie behind him in the past. The closing line, v. 9b, recalls Psalm 35:21, cf. Psalm 59:11; Psalm 92:12; the invoking of the curse upon his enemies in v. 8 recalls Psalm 17:13; Psalm 56:8; Psalm 59:12.; and the vow of thanksgiving in v. 8 recalls Psalm 22:26; Psalm 35:18; Psalm 40:10.
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