Sunday, June 10, 2012
Psalms on Sunday: Psalm 3
Psalm 3 is one of those cry-for-help psalms. Verses 1 and 2 talk about King David's enemies, and these aren't just emotional enemies, either--he has literal physical enemies who want to kill him. This song was written when King David was an older man running from his son Absalom, who was trying to take the kingdom from him. In verses 1-2 it's clear that David's enemies think that he is cut off from any help from God.
But verse 3 shows that these enemies are wrong; God is still protecting David like a shield (love that metaphor!), and God keeps David from being totally wiped out or ashamed. Verse 4 shows that God's response to David is part of a 2-way communication where David calls out to God first, and God responds to him. Verse 5 shows that David has enough peace and confidence to sleep through the night without worrying. God is sustaining him, so there's no need to toss and turn.
Verse 6 shows complete confidence, because David has decided that no matter how many enemies he has, God is still stronger. Verse 7 is pretty violent, asking God to physically intervene on David's behalf and noting that God has totally smashed wicked people in the past. Verse 8 glorifies God and says that salvation only comes from the Lord and that his blessings are given to his people--a complete turnaround from the sadness at the beginning of the psalm.
1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.