Today: [Psalms Three] When You Lose Everything – Then What? In Psalm 3 we find David on the run from Absalom. Because of David’s own sin the kingdom has been taken from him. His friends have forsaken him. People are throwing rocks at him as he flees the city. Yet in the midst of the panic and chaos he takes the time to write a psalm expressing his trust in God and his assurance that though things look difficult – God is still his shield and his protector.
[Psa 3:1-8 KJV] 1 [[A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.]] 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.
Many of David’s psalms were written in times of personal crises. When Absalom overthrew the kingdom and won the hearts of the people of Israel David refused to resist. Instead he gathered his family and close supporters and left Jerusalem on foot while being derided along the way by his own people. Shimei came out throwing stones and kicking dirt on David and David refused to respond and refused to give permission to his own body guard to defend him. He was in nearly the lowest time of his life.
Have you ever been in David’s position? Have you ever fallen out of favor so severely that people around you suggest that even God will not be your help? David is astonished at the sheer numbers of people who are found on every hand who work to trouble him and make his life difficult. Have you ever been in a situation where you were not only neglected by others but people actually work and put forth effort to make your way difficult? This was David’s plight. The word trouble here implies literally that people were throwing rocks at David. The Hebrew word includes the definition “to cause anguish, distress, sorrow and affliction”. It also means “to crowd”. Is there someone crowding you in your life today? This is what David went through and the circumstance that inspired him to write this Psalm.
David is remarkable for his creativity. He is in a very difficult situation and his very life is in jeopardy. He is fleeing the city and seeking refuge among the very few friends he has left. Yet in the midst of it all he pauses to reflect and says to himself “I think I will write a song …” Can you imagine it? This not only speaks to David’s genius and artistic temperament but also to his deep love for God. When others might be feeling sorry for themselves David is so moved with appreciation for his relationship for God he composes lyrics to express his praise. Is there any doubt why God would look upon David and say “this is a man after My own heart!”
What is your response when you come under attack? Sometimes the enemy comes against us in subtle ways with temptation and increasing pressure over time. Other times as in David’s case Satan springs a lightning attack upon us designed to make us panic and forget God altogether. Does your trust in God run so deep that not even a sudden assault can quench your praise? What if this was you? This is the example we see in king David as he flees from Absalom with a song in his heart. What if in times of challenge and difficulty instead of applying yourself to all the often futile problem solving skills you just stopped – analyzed the situation and broke forth into praise?
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.
David not only assessed the situation with Absalom and the threat to his family he also asked the question: “who is God to me in this circumstance?” When you are assailed by problems and difficulties the enemy doesn’t want you to ask this question. He wants you to worry and fear and look at the problem and wallow in despair. David instead of feeling sorry for himself or allowing himself to be completely devastated emotionally pauses to ask himself “who is God to me in the midst of this circumstance?” Now remember that the seeds of Absalom’s rebellion were planted in the ground of David’s own disobedience in the matter of Uriah and Bathsheba. Anyone who chose to could look at David and say “you had this coming to you because you committed adultery and murder…”
The salvation of God or answer to the prayers you pray in times of trouble are not predicated on you doing everything right. David did some very bad things yet he had a knowledge of God that anticipated that even in the consequences of his own moral failure God would come through for him and save him. Many times people will say “God will not help you out of the mess you get yourself into …” What does this mean? God will deliver from difficulty not originating in your own lack of wisdom – but if you bring it on yourself God will let you suffer? I would suggest to you that there is hardly any kind of difficulty that we don’t get ourselves into one way or the other. If God only helps those who don’t cause their plight then salvation would never be extended to us in the first place. What does this mean for you? Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking just because you did something wrong or stupid that God won’t be there for you. God took David’s humanity and his failures into account and still came through for him and still considered him a man after God’s own heart. This is the heart of God toward you as well.
What does it mean when David says that God is a shield to him. The word shield hear means “to surround, to defend, to cover…” There is a false doctrine in the church that says you need a man or a ministry to cover you. Let me tell you something – Jesus is your covering. Someone recently was told by a fellow minister “I am supposed to cover you …” The minister promptly sent the one who said this a list of his monthly bills. The so called “covering” person replied back “what is this”? The man replied – “this is what I need covered – obey God!” Jesus said you are the light of the world – and that you should not cover your light with a bushel basket. The word bushel basket there means “a certain dry measure…” Abraham was not fully blessed until he separated himself from Lot. Lot’s name means “covering”. The idea of covering does have an application between a man and his wife but be aware of this that Jesus is your covering. He is your shield and your defense. No man can take that place and those who do in your life are trespassing on holy ground.
David calls God “the lifter of his head…” In other words David refused to hang his head in shame. Not because he was a good person or did everything right. David refused to hang his head in shame because of who God was to him not because of who others saw him to be or what his opinion was of himself. Many times people have a definition of humility that is in reality a form of condemnation. If you will study the humility scriptures in the bible you will so nowhere in the bible that you are to humble yourself to man. You are not better than anyone but when it comes to humility you humble yourself to God and not man. Man will take false humility and use it to plow you under. God will take your humility as the entrance point into your life to protect you and deliver you and give you peace.
In verse 4 David said that he called unto the Lord with his voice. Are you verbal in your prayers? Everyone gets verbal when they are in trouble. What do you get verbal about when you are under pressure? Many people will complain, moan, groan and lament quite loudly when things go wrong in life. They will talk to anyone who will listen. Yet they never seem to get around to getting verbal with God about their trust in Him and asking Him for their needs. They take the attitude “God knows what I need…” Yes He does but He wants to hear it from you. Prayers that are unspoken – unverbalized are often only wishful thinking. Like David we need to make the effort even in times of difficulty to “cry unto the Lord with our voices…” Having made his voice heard, David then left the matter with God. The next thing David did in verse 5 is “I laid me slept…” Jesus gave a parable about this:
[Mar 4:26-27 KJV] 26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
You have to rest your case with God. David cried to the Lord and then went to bed and slept. Upon waking his first observation was that he was still alive. David did what he could do and left the matter with the Lord. Likewise you have to do what you can, make your prayer known to God and then just rest and trust knowing that He is your shield and your protector.
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.
The day came that God came through for David and Absalom was dealt with. Notice that David asks for God’s salvation even after his enemies were “smitten on the cheek bone” and after God had “broken the teeth of the ungodly”. It is a fact that your most vulnerable times are not in the heat of battle but in the aftermath of a great testimony. David understood this and maintained a posture of humility even in victory.
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