Weds 3 February - Psalm 3
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
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.
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.
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.
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Meditation on Psalm 3
As we come back to the beginning of the Psalms we note the themes of the first two Psalms.
Psalm 1 challenges us to think about the importance of the Word of God – ‘Blessed is the one whose delight is in the Law of the LORD and who meditates on His law day and night.’
Psalm 2 challenges us to think about the sovereignty of God – ‘I have installed MY king on Zion, my holy mountain.’
These are two pillars of our faith – the Word of God and the Sovereignty of God. We see these themes through many of the Psalms.
The Psalms don’t duck away from the reality of human experiences and we are into these in Psalm 3.
David, the king of Israel, the man whom God declares as ‘a man after my own heart’, is plunged into a desperate situation.
- surrounded by enemies
- forsaken by God
His own son, Absalom, ‘stole the hearts of the people’ (2 Samuel 15:6) and a messenger came and told David, ‘the hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.’ (verse 13).
‘Come’, says David, ‘we must flee or none of us will escape from Absalom.’
The king is on the run and soon meets another enemy in Shimei – 2 Samuel 16:5-8.
Shimei accuses David of being ‘a murderer, a scoundrel.’
That’s trouble enough but he speaks of worse by far than that. There are many people who, in the face of such opposition, are saying, ‘God will not deliver him.’ Remember, David wasn’t an innocent bystander – he had sinned when he took Bathsheba and had her husband murdered and this was probably in the minds of his accusers as they taunted him.
Spurgeon comments: ‘If all the trials which come from heaven, all the temptations which ascend from hell, and all the crosses which arise from earth, could be mixed and pressed together, they would not make a trial so terrible as that which is contained in this verse. It is the most bitter of all afflictions to be led to fear that there is no help for us in God.’
Fast forward for a moment – Jesus, on the Cross, cried out “My God! My God, why have YOU forsaken me?” (capitals are mine)
But just as Jesus could turn to His Father in that moment of anguish and pain and say, ‘Father, into your hand I commit my spirit’, so David could speak confidently of his relationship with God. ‘But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.’
And in that moment he knows who to turn as he has assurance that his pleading will be heard and answered.
We, like David, are imperfect people, even though we are cleansed in the blood of Jesus. We may have many accusers around us and within us – the devil certainly is a past-master at reminding us of our failings
But God …
- He is our shield
- He hears us
- He gives us sleep and wakens us morning by morning
- He sustains us
- He takes away our fear, whatever and whoever comes against us – the language used in verse 7 suggests that he sees his enemies as wild animals. He often uses that throughout his Psalms when he thinks about his enemies – e.g. Psalm 7:2; 10:9; 17:12; 22:12-13
- He will ultimately triumph over all our enemies, including Satan, the ‘accuser of the brethren.’
- He is our deliverer
And, in the midst of all his troubles he prays God’s blessing on God’s people. So, too, should we pray.
Thursday 4 February - Psalm 4
Friday 5 February - Psalm 5
Saturday 6 February - Psalm 6
Sunday 7 February - Psalm 7
Monday 8 February - Psalm 8
Tuesday 9 February - Psalm 9