(Psalms 3:1-2) 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. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.”
As we look at this third chapter of Psalms, we see that David found himself in a place of hurt and need. This is a Psalm of David, and can be called “The Morning Psalm.” In the
early morning David had awakened from sleep, after having fled in the middle of the night from his own son Absalom who was trying to take David’s throne from him. There can be no doubt that this was one of the lowest times in David’s life. It was during this time, in the early morning, that he sang this Psalm, this hymn, to God. It was a hymn of worship, praise, and prayer to God. The apostle Paul speaks of this type of hymn in (Colossians 3:16). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This is the true place and meaning of singing. We are to sing to the Lord, not to entertain people and glorify ourselves.
As David sang this hymn to the Lord because of his hurt and discouragement, in it we can learn some precious things that will help us as we face these hard trials. There are four things that we want to look at in this Psalm.
David was greatly concerned because of the events that had taken place in his home and in his kingdom. He took his troubles before God. This is the very place that we should take our troubles. We will see in this Psalm that God will help us just as He helped David. In these two verses we see two things that David was concerned about.
David Was Concerned About the Multitude of His Enemies
There was an increase of those who troubled David. Many had risen up against him. His own son Absalom had become his enemy, his counsellors and advisers who worked so close to him had become his enemy, his generals and soldiers, his own army had become his enemy. Surely this must have broken David’s heart. This kind of hurt cuts deep into the heart that loves. It always seems that trouble comes in flocks, and sorrow has a large family. It seems that when one problem arises, there will be many more to follow. Many times we wonder why these things happen to us. But we can rest assured that God has a purpose in allowing trials to come our way.
Our troubles and trials may put us in the fires of affliction, but it is through these times that God will refine us to strong faith in Him and He will be glorified. Our hearts will be strengthened and comforted. He is preparing us for that glorious home in heaven in His holy presence where there will be no more enemies, sorrow, or trials. We will be at the place of eternal rest, joy and peace. David was concerned about his enemies as they had increased and risen up against him, but God was concerned about strengthening his faith and hope. God is doing the same thing for us today. (I Peter 1:3-9).
Let us take courage that God is always with us. He is testing our faith so we can be better servants for Him. Faith by its very nature has to be tested and tried in order to grow strong. Let us not become discouraged as we face the troubles and trials that come our way.
David Was Concerned About the Method of His Enemies
His enemies said that there was no help for David from God. This was the worst thing that they could say about him. This hurt him deeply. They thought that God would not help David defeat his enemies as He had before because of his great sin against God. This is the worst attack on God’s people. They were throwing David’s sin up to him, even though God had forgiven him. David reaped greatly because of his sin. The sword did not depart from his house. Even at this time, David’s son was trying to take the throne from him. We must never forget that there is no test from heaven, no trials of the cross on earth, or temptations ascending from hell, can cause the Lord God to forsake His child in affliction, as David received help from God during his trials, so can we. We have a direct promise from the Word of God. It says in (Hebrews 4:15-16) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” People may say all manner of things about us, but let us never forget that God has never failed one of his children.
The apostle Paul faced many temptations, troubles, and trials as he walked and worked for the Lord Jesus. He discovered a tremendous source of strength from God. He said in (II Corinthians 12:7-10). God’s grace is sufficient for every trial and temptation that we face. To experience this grace, we simply take God at His word that is trust in His promises by faith.
The following promises from God’s Word should be sufficient ground to trust in the Lord through all troubles of life. (Romans 8:28-39). If we trust in the Lord, and stand on these promises in this passage of Scripture, victory is ours! There is no need to be concerned about the multitude or the method of our enemies.
David Had Great Confidence in God’s Ability to Protect Him in His Troubles
In verse 4 we see that God is three things to David, and to us as well.
First, He is our shield. Our enemies may cast many arrows and fiery darts at us, but the Lord will be our shield to turn them away. He will disable their power to hurt us. People may say hard things and do many things that hurt us deeply, but God will protect us from the hurt and sorrow as we stand on His promises.
The shield wraps around the soldier to protect him from all sides. God protects us by His grace and favour. He wraps His favour around us as a shield (Psalms 5:12) “For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” This is why the Lord told Paul that His grace was sufficient for every need.
Second, God is our glory. David knew that even though he was driven from his throne, God would let him return. He would glorify David by letting him take his appointed place as the king over Israel. God had given David his glory, and He would preserve it for him.
God is also our glory. Even in this life God gives us the place of glory many times, He places us in many high positions, in positions that we may receive honour. If others try to rob us of the glory, God will be there to protect us. Then we are headed for the place of glory that this old world has never seen. We will be glorified with the Lord Jesus Christ. So the present troubles and trials are not worth worrying about. The Bible says in (Romans 8:17-18) “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Third, God is the “Lifter up of our heads.” What David was saying here is, though I hang my head in sorrow, I will soon be lifted up with joy and thanksgiving. God will not let His children hang their head in shame and sorrow long. The Bible says in (Psalms 27:6) “And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.” When God lifts up our head, we with thanksgiving and joy sing. When a person is singing with joy in their heart, they are not singing with their head hung low in shame and sorrow. When God lifts up our heads, He replaces the shame and sorrow with love, joy, and peace.
David Had Great Confidence in God’s Hearing His Prayer
He said in (verse 4) “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” We notice that David cried out with his voice. God hears silent prayers, but there are times when we need to pray out loud. David’s enemies were crying out with loud voices against him, but he cried out to God and God heard him. Where would we be without prayer?
The Lord Jesus was always praying to the Father when He was here on earth. How much more should we mortal beings need to pray!
We all would be more spiritual if we lifted up our voices in prayer more often. Even in our churches we have become much too quiet in prayer. An officer once complained to General Stonewall Jackson that some soldiers were making a noise in their tent. “What are they doing?” asked the General. “They are praying now, but they have been singing,” was the reply. “And is that a crime?” the General demanded. “The articles of war order punishment for an unusual noise,” was the reply. And General Jackson said, “God forbid that praying should be an unusual noise in the camp!” God forbid that praying cease to be heard in our churches and in our homes. As David, we must have confidence in God hearing and answering our prayers.
David’s Rest of Faith at Bedtime
David was able to lie down and sleep that night, even though he was pursued by his enemies. Worry and anxiety has been the robber of many nights’ sleep of God’s children whose faith is weak. This is why we must have our faith tested and tried. As David was tried many times, so must we be tried that we may be like David when troubles come. He laid down and went to sleep trusting in God to protect him through it all. It was David’s faith that enabled him to sleep in perfect contentment. God has sustained him during the night. He will sustain us as well. Let us trust in Him to watch over us when we need to lie down and rest. We must have rest in order to finish our course and race set before us. We must sleep. But remember, while we are asleep, God never sleeps. He is right there watching over us every moment. If we don’t awake in this world, we will awake in the brightness of God’s eternal day in heaven.
David’s Strength of Faith in Battle
David realizes that his enemies are many in number. He does not deny this, not try to hide from the fact. He faces the truth of it. But he does not tremble. He is not afraid of them. His trust is in the Lord, his shield, his glory, and the lifter up of his head. He knows that all power belongs to God. He knows that God is faithful in all that He does. With faith and trust like this, why should we be afraid, no matter how many enemies we have. As the children of God, we are His purchased property. He gave His only begotten Son to redeem us from sin and condemnation. He is not about to lose a one of us. We need not fear anything that is less than God almighty. God promised us this in (Isaiah 41:10-13) “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” It is no wonder that David could say he was not afraid of his enemies. It was because his trust was in God. He was standing on the promises of God, and not on himself – so should we.
A lack of trust in God will keep us from having victory over fear. Once a man was compelled to cross a wide, frozen river. Notwithstanding the assurances of those who were thoroughly familiar with the region and repeatedly crossed the solid ice, the man feared to undertake the trip, but finally began to crawl his way over. When near the middle of the frozen river he was startled by a sound in the distance, and caught sight of a man driving a heavy wagon loaded with iron; yet there was not the least sight of a crack in the ice. What a foolish thing to fear and crawl like that! It was all because of a lack of trust in those who knew the river, and had crossed the ice many times. So many of us today will not trust in the promises of God. Will the Word of God hold? Yes! Do not crawl with fear through this life when we can walk upright joyfully with God.
David’s Courage Came Through God’s Past Dealings with His Enemies
David had experienced the power of God in dealing with his enemies many times in the past.
His faith in God was so strong that all God had to do was arise and he would be saved from his enemies. This is powerful faith that pleases God. Again, this is another reason why God must allow us to face tests and trails as we travel through this life. As we run into troubles, God will deliver us in them, thus we learn by experience, the power and ability of God to save us in our afflictions. This will give us great courage in the time of trouble, in the very presence of our enemies. David said in (Psalms 23:5) “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
David’s Courage Came Through God’s Present Dealings with His People
David learned long ago that salvation was the work of God, and not the work of man. He learned that salvation was by the grace of God, and not by the works of man. (Ephesians 2:8-10) “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
The salvation from David’s enemies also came from the Lord. Through this third Psalm we see David acknowledging that God is the One who gives victory. David could not defeat his enemies on his own. Salvation from sin, and salvation from our trials, troubles, temptations and our enemies comes only through the Lord. All salvation belongs to God. This gives us great assurance and courage.
God’s blessings are upon His people. He blesses us as He blesses no other people. Whatever we need He is there with the provision. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”