How to Rest in Hope – Reflection on Psalm 54

Psalm 54:1-7

Hiding

I remember wonderful times of youth, playing Kick the Cans or Hide and Go Seek. In my neighborhood, all the kids would gather across the street and we would play until it was too dark to see.

I was pretty good at hiding, which was extremely helpful in both games. I could find great hiding places and would only come out if everyone’s focus was somewhere else.

I had to be careful because if someone found your go-to hiding place or even saw you leaving it. Once others knew where the hiding place was, they would check there first and it would no longer be a hiding place.

Found

David was found out. While he was being chased by the paranoid king Saul, David found a good hiding place among the Ziphites, but some of the Ziphites decided to let Saul know that David was there.

Things weren’t very good for David. Among other things, his hiding place represented rest. He probably thought he would be able to stay there for a while, but since Saul knew where he was, he would have to start running again.

This Psalm reveals David’s anger and disappointment. He calls those who sold him out insolent and ruthless and says that God is not before them. Whatever their motivations were, following God was not one.

Remembering

In his distress, David calls out to God. He is in the midst of trouble. He knows he is following God, but these others are not. They are trying to harm him.

But even as his disappointment and anger mount, he remembers that God is already his helper. God has seen him through other times of difficulty and he knows God will see him through this time as well.

A Future of Hope

As he remembers, he looks forward to better days. Days when he will offer a freewill sacrifice and is delivered from all of his trouble.

We have those times when it seems like the world is crashing in on us. We might not have a madman chasing us trying to kill us, but our trouble is just as real as David’s. Sometimes our trouble drowns out the quiet confidence of faith. Our trouble causes us to forget that God is our helper. God has gotten us this far and he will see us through whatever we face.

Remember, Realize, and Rest

David was able to look back remembering God’s faithfulness, look around realizing God was his helper, enabling him to look forward and rest in hope. David would be delivered. He knew God would see him through this trial.

David’s example can help us as we face our troubles as well. We will have those seasons of life when disappointment and despair pull up a chair and stick around far too long. During those seasons, we, like David, can look back and see God’s faithfulness, recognize his presence, and rest in hope of his goodness and deliverance.

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