Psalms 1 - 50by Mike Raiter
Knowing God and remaining faithful to Him does not exempt us from trouble and opposition. Sometimes in life these troubles can threaten to overwhelm us. Psalm 3 speaks to this situation.
This psalm reminds us that we should read the psalms on three levels. Firstly, they reflect the life situation of the man who wrote the psalm. Secondly, they point forward to the One who is the subject of all Scripture, the Lord Jesus (see Luke 24:44). Thirdly, they address our own life and experience.
Psalm 2 speaks of those who foolishly try to plot against God's anointed king. Ultimately, their schemes will fail (Psalm 2:1-2). Psalm 3 grounds this truth in history. This is the first psalm which mentions the author and the context of the psalm. David wrote it when he fled from his son, Absalom, who tried to seize the throne (2 Samuel 15-17).
As the psalm opens, we see David almost overwhelmed by the enormity of his opposition. He seems hopelessly outnumbered (Psalm 3:1). Furthermore, enemies mock his faith in God (v. 2).
Yet, this psalm of lament is full of hope. God is David's protective shield and He will restore to him the dignity others want to take away (v. 3). Indeed, so confident is David in the Lord that his troubles don't rob him of a good night's sleep (v. 5).
David asks God to bring judgment on his enemies: ″Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked″ (v. 7; cf. 2:9). Appropriately, the lament ends with David expressing calm confidence in the God of salvation.
Throughout His life, and especially before the cross, Jesus was surrounded by many who sought to destroy Him, yet He showed godly trust in the face of opposition (Luke 22:42). As the world's true King, He is our supreme example of such faith.
The psalm ends with a blessing on all God's people (Psalm 3:8). Like David, we will sometimes face hostility from others. At times, the difficult circumstances of life will weigh us down. The God of Psalm 3 is our shield and will lift us up. Psalm 3 calls us all to look to Him for our deliverance.
″Tens of thousands assail me on every side″ (Psalm 3:6). Have there been times in your life when you have felt overwhelmed like this? What are some of the things that keep you from trusting in God in such times?
Does God always deliver us from our enemies? What kind of deliverance can we be confident in?