Words by Zac Bozeman | Image by Justin Hunter
1 O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah
– Psalm 3 (ESV)
I love the Psalms. One of the benefits of reading these heartfelt meditations is that they teach us how to worship through trials and troubles we face in life.
The circumstances that prompted the third Psalm are overwhelming. David’s son, Amnon, raped his daughter, Tamar; his other son, Absalom, killed Amnon; and finally, Absalom led a revolt which led to David fleeing Jerusalem.
This exact situation would more than likely never happen to us, but we do experience varying forms of trouble of our own: we witness the people we love being hurt, we have division in our life, and we experience people setting themselves against us. We may not be fighting a physical battle, but we are fighting in a spiritual battle. In these times, the best thing we can do is turn to God.
Let’s look at how David responded to his circumstances. First, he told God what was going on. (v1-2). God wants us to communicate with us. He wants to grow us, help us, and strengthen us. He does that when we submit to Him in prayer.
Secondly, David trusted God. (v3-6) He took his eyes off the situation and focused on the Savior! He trusted, not only because of who God is, but also because He knew God would answer and sustain Him.
Verse 3 says that God is our “shield” (referring to protection) and our “glory.” The word used here for glory is the word that typically refers to the glory of God. When used in reference to humans, however, it speaks to identity. He is the “lifter of our head.” This is an incredible reminder that we don’t have to go through trouble being down and out. We can have joy in the midst of pain.
Lastly, David turned the situation over to God. (v7-8) He understood he couldn’t overcome this battle by his own strength, and He must lean on the Lord.
Psalm 3 is yet another reminder that God is not a million miles away from us. He is intricately involved in every situation that we face.
May we, too, turn to Him in our troubles. When troubles arise, may we tell Him, trust Him, and turn it over to Him. WL