Written by: Tim Wood
In today’s Psalm, we find David running away again in fear and confusion. David is not running from Saul, but from his son, Absalom. A son he loved dearly and yet a son who turned against him. Psalm 3 is full of deep and raw emotion.
O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!” (Selah)
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain. (Selah)
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people. (Selah)
This Psalm teaches us to let our faith in God dominate our life rather than our fears. Four times David says, “O LORD”. Faith starts with the LORD and not our circumstances. Three times in this Psalm, David invites us to stop and meditate (Selah). People were saying of David, “God will never rescue him” (Verse 2). Stop and think about that. What a lie. In verse 4, “I cried out to the LORD and He answered me from His holy mountain.” Think about that. When we pray, God will answer. Finally, in verse 8, “Victory comes from the LORD.” The victory is mine because the battle is the LORD’s.
David prays with honesty and raw emotion. “Slap all my enemies in the face”, he prays. That’s kind of hard to read, isn’t it? “Shatter the teeth of the wicked”, David continues. Ouch. This Psalm teaches us that we can pray our real feelings to God. God can handle it. But prayer doesn’t end with our feelings or fears. Prayer should end with faith in the LORD. This Psalm gives us four truths about God that we can rely on:
First – His protection. “Lord, you are a shield around me.” God is not just a shield before me; He is a shield around me. God protects me from the front, the sides and from behind. God, being my shield, doesn’t mean I don’t experience hurt or fear. I still go through trials but God shields me from being over taken by them.
Second – His position. “You are my glory.” David had replaced the glory God deserves with something else. Literally, glory means weight or heaviness. Something other than God was heavy in David’s life. Maybe being a good king, or father or friend. All of these are good things but do not deserve the ultimate weight in our life. God is my glory. God is the most important thing in life. God is what I put my weight on.
Third – His Love. God is the one who lifts your head. He will hold you up. He is for you and with you and wants us to fully recognize His love for us.
Four – His peace. David lay down to sleep in fear and uncertainty and woke up in God’s peace and safety. He knew the LORD was watching over him, even when he slept.
I can pray my fears just like David did. I can trust God just like David did. Will you take a moment and pray? Lord, you are a shield around me. You are my glory and the lifter of my head. I am safe with you. AMEN.