Psalms 3 and 4
Psalm 3:1-2 (ESV) A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom, his son.
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
The heading may very well be accurate for this psalm. Many of the leaders had sided with Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 18:31,32).
Psalm 3:3-4 (ESV) 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
The Psalms of David often refer to YHWH as his shield, which is to say protector. He claimed YHWH as his glory. Our worth is found in Him. To lift the head is to exalt in authority, position, or power (Psalm 27:6). But it can also mean to be encouraged or free from shame (Job 10:15). In the midst of the trouble he cried aloud to YHWH and was answered from the tabernacle on Zion.
Psalm 3:5-6 (ESV) 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.
I was vulnerable, but God looked after me! God and one are a majority.
Psalm 3:7 (ESV) 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.
What an image! A K.O. punch by God and those who resisted him are suddenly no more. The same can be true with those who resist us on account of Jesus. Again and again and again, I have seen it. God is faithful. He doesn't always act as rapidly as we would like, but in His perfect time.
Psalm 3:8 (ESV) 8 Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah
This literally says Yeshua is YHWH’s. He asks for blessings to be on God’s people, those whom the Lord has chosen. This blessing is the Hebrew beraka, the favor of God.
Do you pray this prayer? Can you relate to how David is feeling? Never be ashamed to call for the blessing and protection of God. He is faithful to protect those who love him.
Psalm 4:1 (ESV) To The Choirmaster: with Stringed Instruments. A Psalm of David
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
This psalm speaks so clearly to the experience of being slandered and evil seeming to prevail against us. The first verse is a summary of the psalm.
Psalm 4:2 (ESV) 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
The wheels of God’s justice can grind exceedingly slow, but they grind exceedingly fine.
Psalm 4:3 (ESV) 3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
We belong to YHWH! Even if the world rejects us and our community believes lies spoken against us, we are here for the LORD. He hears our heart cry. He heard Jesus in the garden and on the cross.
Psalm 4:4-5 (ESV) 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
It's ok to be angry/agitated at wickedness. Just don't let it push you to do something ungodly.
Sleepless nights are for prayer and considering how God would have us respond or not respond. Be silent and listen to God's response. Just keep doing what is right. Don't trust in your wisdom or a good idea, but put your full trust in the LORD to deal with it.
Psalm 4:6 (ESV) 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
Lots of people say prayer is to no avail. But when the LORD shows Himself to us in His Word or by the sense of His presence, we know we have made the right choice.
Psalm 4:7-8 (ESV) 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
In spite of the slanderous lies, we can be filled with joy that they have never experienced. Once I have met with the LORD and placed my trust in Him, no more sleepless nights! Regardless of what I hear and what is done, I know it is all good. He is my defense.
How can we see God as David did?
Does God defend us?
Have you ever felt like David did in Psalm 4?
How can we find the peace David found?