Psalm 54


Faith in a Crisis

 This Psalm is written as an instruction to those of us who would read it in the years to come.  The setting is a town in the desert area of Judah built by a son of Caleb who like David was from the tribe of Judah.  When David was running for his life from King Saul he went to the desert area by this town but the people living in the town betrayed him to Saul telling Saul that David was there.  It is likely they were afraid of what King Saul would do to the town and its people if he found out that they had allowed David to hide there. (see 1 Samuel 22:18&19)  Though the people and David were from the same tribe and therefore family, in verse 3 David called them strangers who have not set God before them, meaning they did not seek to be led by God nor did they trust God which resulted in their willingness to give David over to King Saul.

 Faith is a very strong motivator. We speak and act based on what we believe which is an expression of where we have put our faith.  It is important that we place our faith in God and in the truth.  Often times when a person is fearful it is because they have done something they shouldn’t have or they have made up a scenario in their mind about something that could happen.   Then they will devise a plan of action which they believe will relieve the fear or calm the storm they think is coming.  Many times the plan will include a little “white lie” or withholding the truth because they “don’t want to hurt someone”, but clearly when they do this they are putting their faith in the plan they have devised.  These scenarios can also be big wasters of time and energy often because we have not thought through the details.

David heard about what the people did.  He too had a plan in which he put his faith.  His plan was based on the word of God.  Certainly David should have been fearful but rather than develop a plan of action based on fear he trusted in the Word of God, God’s promises to him, and what God had done for him in the past.

 We live by a creek which overflowed its banks during a severe rain storm in 1996.  The water came over the banks covering first the little side yard and then the drive way and finally the water came within ten feet of our house.  The flood did destroy two houses that were next to the creek just a few blocks from us and undermined two trailers in the trailer park across the creek from our house.  It took several days for the water to go down and several weeks before I stopped hearing the roar of the rushing water in my head.  Years later there was another period of prolonged rain and the threat of another flood.  My mind went back to the previous flood.  Again I could hear the water rushing and I could envision the water rising so I took action.  I bought 500 sand bags and hauled two truckloads of sand with my little dump truck.  Flooding had begun where I bought the sand and by the time I picked up the last load their yard was under water and water was flowing over the road.  I hurried back and a neighbor who recently had surgery and I worked in the rain filling the bags of sand.  Some friends came and placed them on the lawn.

 Working franticly we were all soaking wet and getting tired.  About half way through the process it came to me that earlier in the year God had provided a roof for our house.  The new roof was clearly a miracle as this was a major project requiring the removal of several layers of roofing and a complete re-sheeting with plywood before the new roof could be installed.  There was no way we could have raised the money for the roof, it was clearly impossible for us but not for God.  We did not do any fund raisers or pleas for money, God in His grace simply provided what was needed when it was needed.  As we were filling the bags with sand the question came to me, why would God give us a roof if He knew the house would be destroyed by a flood?  It just made no sense.  As I realized this I had peace about the threatened flood and sure enough there was some flooding in the valley north and south of us but the water never left the banks of the creek by our house.  My response to fear created a lot of work in miserable conditions and worse yet could have created a major problem for my neighbor if he had pulled loose his stitches from his recent surgery. 

 Here is my point.  What has God promised us in His Word?  What has He done in our lives that showed He is faithful time and time again?  Are we standing on the promises of God trusting in His Word?  Or are we putting our faith in our ability to manage a crisis without having set God before us?  We will not know for sure until the time of crisis comes. 

In verses 4-7 we see how David handled the crisis.  In 1 Samuel 23:27 we see how God did something very simple to make the way of escape for David.  In the days to come we will have times where our faith will be tested.  Just writing this reminds me that no matter what I am going to face in the days to come, God has been faithful and He will be faithful.  He didn’t bring us this far to abandon us.  I for one want to trust Him more and more.  How about you?

 Grace and Peace

Pastor Dave