For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil [probably a literary or musical term] of David. When the Ziphites [betrayed David when he was fleeing from Saul] had gone to Saul and said, “Is not David hiding among us?” [on two occasions the Ziphites revealed David’s hideouts to Saul (cf. 1 Sam. 23:19; 26:1)]
54:1 Save me [only God could save David from the troubles stated in verse 3], O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.
54:2 Hear my prayer [“As long as God has an open ear, we cannot be shut up in trouble.” (Spurgeon)], O God; listen to the words of my mouth.
54:3 Arrogant foes [or “strangers”] are attacking me; ruthless people [those concerned only with what they wanted regardless of the impact on others] are trying to kill me — people without regard for God.
54:4 [note shift from worry to confidence in the Lord; “Little care we for the defiance of the foe while we have the defense of God.” (Spurgeon)] Surely God is my help [a triumphant exclamation]; the Lord is the one [the only one] who sustains me.
54:5 [an expression of trust in divine justice] Let evil recoil on those who slander me [the “arrogant foes” and “ruthless people” would be held accountable for their deeds; no one sins or does evil with impunity; “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.” (MLKing Jr)]; in your faithfulness destroy them [the unfaithful wicked].
54:6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering [not a required offering; a spontaneous expression of thanksgiving; “The more we receive, the more we ought to render.” (Spurgeon)] to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
54:7 You [God alone] have delivered me [the prayer of verse 1 answered] from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.