He’s Got Your Whole Soul in His Hands

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!

Psalm 54:4

Psalm 54, like many others in the Psalter, was written in a time when the psalmist, here identified as David, feared for his life. Violent people were trying to kill him (54:3), thus he cried out to God for deliverance (54:1). Beginning with verse 4, David pauses to remember the Lord: “But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!” Thus David finds reassurance and a reason to praise God (54:7).

The NLT translates the second line of verse 4 as “The Lord keeps me alive!” This renders the sense of the original Hebrew, though missing the vitality of its imagery. More literally, this line could be rendered: “The Lord is supporting my soul.” The Hebrew verb in this sentence (samakh) conveys the image of placing ones hands upon something. In Psalm 54:4, God’s hands are upon David’s soul to keep him alive, but also to uphold him in a difficult time. God will be strong for David when he is weak.

This verse reminds us that God holds more than the whole world in his hands. He’s got your whole soul in his hands, protecting you, uplifting you, strengthening you. What good news this is, especially when we feel weak and battered down.

I’m reminded of the glorious benediction at the close of the New Testament letter of Jude: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 24-25).

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What fears have nagged at you this week? How is God filling you with life and supporting your soul?

PRAYER: Gracious God, what a marvelous reminder in this psalm of your presence in my life, and not just your presence, but your faithful strength and comfort. Thank you, Lord, for all the times and all the ways you have supported my soul. Sometimes you have met me in times of solitude and silence. Sometimes you have buoyed me up in expressive worship. Sometimes you have used the word or touch of a friend to give me courage. In these and so many other ways, you have not just kept me alive in fact, but you have kept me alive on the inside. You’ve given me the strength and confidence to keep on living for you.

All praise be to you, God, who supports my soul, and who keeps me from falling! Amen.

Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.