Christ in Psalms – 3
So far, we have seen that Jesus really is the Blessed Man and also that those who trust in the Anointed One are truly blessed. As we approach Psalm 3, we find David communicating truth to our everyday situations when people turn against us and accuse us of not being blessed by God.
The situation surrounding this psalm is bleak. Absalom has staged a coup, and David (along with some individuals) has left Jerusalem to hide for safety. By the writing of this Psalm, Absalom probably has an army of somewhere between 12,000 to 20,000 individuals (2 Sam. 17:1, 11, 18:7). People consider him a man of blood (2 Sam. 16:7-8). People think Absalom is their answer – although Absalom stole their hearts (2 Sam. 15:6). This psalm reveals another accusation that people make, “There is no help for him in God.” David has heard the accusations. These are very serious claims, and no matter how “spiritual” you are, this is an intensely difficult situation. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where family members, church family or friends make false accusations against you? Where do you turn?
This psalm begins by David calling out to the covenant-keeping God. “LORD” is the Hebrew word for Yahweh. This is the personal name of God. Even though others are claiming that he has no hope in God, David continues to call out to God in personal terms. Yet, that does not mean that he is not facing difficulty. People have increased against him to trouble him and breed accusations against him.
Since this is a song for the people of Israel to sing, David is also writing this to allow us to ponder and meditate on similar situations in our own life. While the meaning of the word “Selah” is not definitely known, many believe it to be a term indicating a musical interlude – calling people to ponder what was just written. Therefore, David says, “People are rising up against me. They’re saying I have no hope in you. Now, people who are singing this, ponder this type of situation. Ponder what it must be like.”
David then moves his attention away from temporal realities to eternal truth. This should be a great encouragement to all of us who are reading because many times when we face difficulty, we simply re-direct our attention to something else temporal instead of truly meditating on God. But God is Who we really need. Therefore, David meditates and preaches the good news of God’s salvation to his own soul. We see three things that David brings out:
- Yahweh is a shield about him. The word “about” is a strong Hebrew preposition. Therefore, David is saying that God’s shield is surrounding him with complete protection. In God David finds real salvation, real protection.
- Yahweh is his glory. This seems to mean that David finds his glory in the Lord. He rejoices in God. From an earthly perspective, there are many things that can bring happiness to our hearts, but in comparison to God, it all pales. God is His child’s glory and joy! Even this truth indicates to David that he is one of God’s children and that there is help for him in God. The Bible says that we love God because He first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19). If David loves God, then God obviously loves him.
- Yahweh lifts up David’s head. This means that God takes away shame and disgrace and gives him the zeal to move forward.