Ever been in the situation where you have witnessed something that you knew was wrong but felt you could not speak up because you have been guilty of the same thing at some other time? You felt that you had lost your moral authority. That is the backdrop to today’s Psalm.
David is on the run. Pursued by his son Absalom and his soldiers, the throne seemingly lost, the humiliation and humbling of God’s great King is never more pronounced. What does David do? He pens Psalm 3 and his heart is poured out for all to see.
Absalom had become increasingly defiant toward his father and the throne of Israel after King David had failed to deal with the sins of his sons. Absalom who was a full brother to Tamar, had killed his half brother Amnon after Amnon, unable to restrain his lust had raped Tamar. (See 2 Samuel 13-17)
David, possibly because of his previous adultery with Bathsheba and the subsequent killing of Uriah had morally compromised himself and he failed to act decisively as the King would have been expected to do. Things go from bad to worse and David finds himself in the wild and his life in peril.
How can we be encouraged?
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
David is broken he can do nothing but cry out to God. All are against him and they dismiss any help being offered. We too know we are broken people with nothing that can redeem us, save Jesus’ great act of love. Many laugh at our trust in Jesus.
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
David knows and trusts that he will not be abandoned. He can rest because God sustains him and his special relationship cannot be broken. We know that because Jesus rose on that third day nothing stands between us. Sin and death are broken. We look forward in eager expectation to that day when we too walk with him on the holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
David knows that nothing can come between him and his Heavenly King. No matter how dark the days are, he will not fear. Remember that for us, each day is one of dependent faithful living. Secure in the knowledge that we will not be abandoned.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
David knew that he would be delivered eventually. He understood that God would avenge the rightful King of Israel. Blessing would return. For us when we most doubt ourselves and our situation is when we can be can be assured that he has not forgotten us. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 reminds us that death has lost its sting, we can call upon God’s mercy and grace.
What a marvellous message for a broken people!