Psalm 54; 1 Samuel 23–24; Psalm 63

The Lord Upholds My Life

To the choirmaster: with tstringed instruments. A Maskil1 of David, uwhen the Ziphites went and told Saul, Is not David hiding among us?

54  O God, save me by your vname,

and vindicate me by your might.

O God, whear my prayer;

give ear to the words of my mouth.

xFor ystrangers2 have risen against me;

ruthless men zseek my life;

they do not set God before themselves. Selah

Behold, aGod is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of my life.

He will return the evil to my enemies;

in your bfaithfulness cput an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, dfor it is good.

For he has delivered me from every trouble,

and my eye has elooked in triumph on my enemies.


David Saves the City of Keilah

23 Now they told David, Behold, the Philistines are fighting against eKeilah and are robbing the threshing floors. Therefore David finquired of the Lord, Shall I go and attack these Philistines? And the Lord said to David, Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah. But David’s men said to him, Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines? Then David finquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, Arise, go down to Keilah, gfor I will give the Philistines into your hand. And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

hWhen Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars. And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, iBring the ephod here. 10 Then David said, O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant. And the Lord said, He will come down. 12 Then David said, Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, jThey will surrender you. 13 Then David and his men, kwho were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went lwherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition. 14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country mof the wilderness of nZiph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

Saul Pursues David

15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. oSaul my father also knows this. 18 pAnd the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

19 qThen the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Is not David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of rJeshimon? 20 Now come down, O king, according to all your heart’s desire to come down, sand our part shall be to surrender him into the king’s hand. 21 And Saul said, tMay you be blessed by the Lord, ufor you have had compassion on me. 22 Go, make yet more sure. Know and see the place where his foot is, and who has seen him there, for it is told me that he is very cunning. 23 See therefore and take note of all the lurking places where he hides, and come back to me with sure information. Then I will go with you. And if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah. 24 And they arose and went to Ziph ahead of Saul.

Now David and his men were vin the wilderness of Maon, win the Arabah to the south of rJeshimon. 25 And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, 27 a messenger came to Saul, saying, Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land. 28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape.1 29 2 And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of xEngedi.

3

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 yWhen Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took zthree thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks. And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in ato relieve himself.4 Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts bof the cave. And the men of David said to him, cHere is the day of which the Lord said to you, Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you. Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. And afterward dDavid’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, eThe Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is fthe Lord’s anointed. So David persuaded his men with these words gand did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.

Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, My lord the king! And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, Why do you listen to the words of men who say, Behold, David seeks your harm? 10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. hAnd some told me to kill you, but I spared you.5 I said, I will not put out my hand against my lord, ffor he is the Lord’s anointed. 11 See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that ithere is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though jyou hunt my life to take it. 12 kMay the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, Out of the wicked comes wickedness. But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? lAfter a dead dog! mAfter a flea! 15 kMay the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and nplead my cause and deliver me from your hand.

16 As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, oIs this your voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, You are more righteous than I, pfor you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, qI know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 rSwear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and sthat you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house. 22 And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up tto the stronghold.


My Soul Thirsts for You

A Psalm of David, swhen he was in the wilderness of Judah.

63  O God, you are my God; tearnestly I seek you;

umy soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in va dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

beholding wyour power and glory.

Because your xsteadfast love is better than life,

my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you yas long as I live;

in your zname I will alift up my hands.

My soul will be bsatisfied as with fat and rich food,

and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

when I remember you cupon my bed,

and meditate on you in cthe watches of the night;

for you have been my help,

and in dthe shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

My soul eclings to you;

your right hand fupholds me.

But those who seek to destroy my life

gshall go down into hthe depths of the earth;

10  they shall be given over to the power of the sword;

they shall be a portion for jackals.

11  But ithe king shall rejoice in God;

all who jswear by him shall exult,

kfor the mouths of lliars will be stopped.