Most Bible students know king David as the great king of Israel, the guy who killed Goliath, the guy who cheated on his wife with Bathsheba, or the man after God’s own heart. Without a doubt, David’s life had it’s ups and downs.
Some of the most powerful writings of David come from his lowest points in life. It is powerful because I struggle in life, and so do you. You have tremendous burdens on your shoulders and sometimes you can’t stand the weight of that load. David teaches us how to deal with a heavy, heavy load.
Allow me to briefly guide you through a study of Psalm 3:
- David’s Predicament
Psalm 3:1-2- 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
David’s predicament is horrifying. In 2 Samuel chapter 12 David is confronted by Nathan concerning his sin with Bathsheba. David is warned that terrible things are coming his way. In the following chapters, David’s new born son dies, a daughter is raped by her step brother, that brother is then killed by another brother (Absalom), who then flees out of fear of punishment.
To make a long story short, Absalom began convincing many people that he would make a better king than his father. 2 Samuel 15:6 tells us that “Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” It’s revealed in chapter 17 that Absalom had more than 12,000 men at his disposal. This was no small uprising.
Absalom decides to use his new-found strength to try to kill his own father. When David learns of this plot, he, the mighty king of Israel, flees. In chapter 15:32 we read that while David was fleeing he went “to the summit, where God was worshipped” It very well could be at this place that David wrote Psalm 3. Needless to say, while David was writing this Psalm, he was in a predicament. His family has eroded, his kingdom is falling, and his own son wants him dead.
David didn’t just have to deal with the fear of losing his life. He also had a mob of people mocking him. Everyone knew that David was a “Man of God.” They had seen his incredible feats and heard him proclaim about God. However, the odds we stacked against him so much that this time people were crying out about David saying, “Not even God can save you now!”
- David’s Peace
Psalm 3:3-6- 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 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.
The incredible thing about Psalm 3 is realizing that while David had a terrible situation on his hands, he had peace. He had peace because he knew God. He spoke glowingly about the Lord’s faithfulness. He spoke of the Lord’s protection. He spoke of the Lord’s providence. He spoke of his confidence in Him. Given the circumstances, it truly is remarkable the thoughts that flowed from the pen of David during this trying time.
- David’s Plea
Psalm 3:7-8- Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah
While being on the summit where God was worshipped, David had a plea. It is the same plea I would have and I would guess the same plea that you would have as well, “Save me, O my God!” 2 Samuel 18 reveals for us that God did answer that prayer the way that David prayed it, and Absalom was destroyed.
What does this have to do with my life?
That is a valid question. We live thousands of years removed from this time period, so sometimes we struggle to relate. Allow me to suggest it is as relevant of a message for us today as ever. For the simple reason that you have challenges in life. You have hard challenges in life. You may not have the family struggles that David was going through, and you may not have more than 12,000 people trying to take your life, but you have your own set of struggles. Allow me to suggest that when you face them, the perfect formula for dealing with them are modeled for us here by David.
You may have noticed there was a word in this Psalm that seems a little out of place. It is found at the end of Verse 2,4, and 8. The word is “Selah”. You see, this Psalm was likely a song that David wrote while he was worshipping God, and on the run. The word Selah was a musical term that meant to “pause, and consider.” Might I suggest that when things are rough in your life, you follow this example set forth by David?
- Pause and consider your situation. Consider everything that is happening, allow yourself to wrap your mind around your circumstances. Chances are you will find that they often times are not as bad as you first feared.
- Pause and consider what God has done. Just as God had protected David up until this point in his life, God has blessed you richly up to this very moment. Allow yourself to truly pause and consider what God has done in your life.
- Pause and consider what God can do now. After reflecting on his situation, and past blessings from God, David paused to consider what could be, with God, now and in the future. Too many times we can allow ourselves to be convinced that the glory days are behind us and it’s only downhill from here. Don’t fall in that trap, pause and consider in your life, what can you and God do now? Notice how David ended this Psalm, “Salvation belongs to the Lord!” While people shouted that not even God could save him, David understood that salvation was God’s to give. There may even be people in your life that hold you back, and say that there is no hope. Pause, and consider… your God.