URC Daily Devotion 8th August 2021

Sunday 8th August

Psalm 54

O God, save Thou me by Thy Name,
And by Thy power vindicate me.
I am beset by those who hate me;
Hear Thou my prayer: Thy help I claim.
Against me haughty men did rise
And ruthless foes are out to slay me:
Be Thou my help to save and stay me;
All fear of God those foes despise.

Behold, God is my Helper strong,
He will sustain my life and hear me
And will not let their sword come near me
But will, in grace, my days prolong.
Upon my foes will soon descend
The evil which God will repay them.
LORD, in Thy faithfulness do slay them;
Let all their schemes come to an end.

To Thee an off’ring I will bring,
A freewill sacrifice to laud Thee;
With songs of joy I will applaud Thee;
Thy Name is good: to Thee I sing.
For my Deliv’rer Thou hast been
From all the trouble round about me
And from my foes who hunt and flout me:
Triumphantly their fall I’ve seen.

W. W. J. Van Oene, 1972
You can hear this sung to the Genevan tune here


Psalm 54 is an exodus psalm, a song of suffering and redemption, a cry for help. David sings this Psalm, maybe in a mocking way, because he knows God will defend him and respond to his request, he is very confident.  This is almost a song of derision as the Ziphites have betrayed David to Saul and I imagine David turning to them and saying these words with boldness because he knows God is with him. 

From a young age David knew he was a king. He was anointed by Samuel, while still a shepherd boy. So when he was being betrayed by his enemies, he knew without a doubt that he would triumph because God’s hand was upon him.  Maybe these verses, that we read as cries for help, are actually David’s declaration of faith that he sings to strengthen himself spiritually because he knows he is anointed. 

The second verse of the hymn and verse 4 of the Psalm, declare David’s relationship with his Lord. God has become his divine helper. David says that God leans into his heart and God lays his hands upon him. God sustains him and upholds him in everything. We often think of ourselves leaning into God but Our heavenly Father is so gentle, loving and gracious with us that I do believe He leans into our hearts, to listen and because he enjoys being with us. He holds us, to comfort, strengthen and reassure us that no matter what, He is here. 

So, how sure are we in these days of God’s love for us? How certain are we of our identity, who God has called us to be and the words He has spoken over our lives? A life lived with God is never dull. There will always be challenges and trials but we face them in partnership with a divine helper, our deliverer and we are never alone. 


Lord you are my divine helper, my deliverer, my sustainer.
As you lean in to me today, I move my heart closer and open it wider.
I soak in your presence and remember your voice, a gentle whisper,
as you hold me, comfort me and strengthen me for the day ahead.
Help me to dwell in your presence all through my waking hours
and lay down in peace as you enfold my sleep.
You are with me Lord and You guide me through this day. Amen


Today’s writer

Jo Patel, Local Leader, Wattisfield URC, Norfolk 


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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