I wanted us to take a look at Psalm 3 today, particularly verse 3. When David wrote this Psalm, he was experiencing one of the worst times of his life. His eldest son Amnon, had been killed by another of his sons, Absalom, for what he had done to David’s daughter. David exiled Absalom and then later allowed him to return though David wouldn’t speak to him. Resentment grew in Absalom’s heart and eventually he would garner the support of all the armies of Israel and would lead them to depose King David.
The barbarians were at the gate so to speak and in the middle of the night, David fled his palace without so much as his shoes. And with David now on the run from his son Absalom who was out to kill him, he composes this Psalm.
Though assailed by all the armies of Israel, led by his own son, we see David yielding to his assurance IN God here in verse 3. Verse 3 reads, “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of m y head.”. This is a beautiful confession of David’s utter dependence upon God as his shield, his glory, and the lifter of his head. There’s really no question that David was desperate with everything that had happened and that WAS happening to him. The interesting thing to note is that at his most desperate, David cleaved stronger to God, he took hold of Him Who saves all that much more. In David’s resolute dependence on God, we can glean 3 important things about who God is in our time of need (or at any time for that matter!):
1. God Provides Safety: “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me…”. A shield “about” me, is to suggest a shield “around” me – a covering on all sides. God is our ultimate, Divine protection, but beyond that, David is notes a practical, present protection in his hour of despair. David wasn’t in the midst of some garden-variety existential crisis here; the guys’s own son was coming against him with all of the armies of Israel to make war with him and to depose, usurp, and ultimately rid the world of him. And yet David professes his safety in God, his Shield about him.
2.God Honors Us: “…my glory…”. David was now on the run, his crown broken from his head, his kingdom in rebellion, and yet he knew that he could rest in the honor of God upon him as His own. It’s no secret that life is often difficult, underlined with pain, marred by sickness and death, seasoned with grief, colored by a lot of toil and effort. But what a considerable thing that God has chosen us who are in Christ, honored us by bestowing upon us His glory. No matter what life brings, we can rest in knowing that we have a Great Redeemer who provides us a Living Hope, has given us a Comforter in our walk with Him, and has even prepared a place for those of us who love Him that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined (1 Cor 2:9). What an honor indeed!
3.God Gives Joy: David says, “…and the lifter of my head.”. Let the troubles of this life brag that they will win and overcome you. Let sickness, uncertainty, and even death say that God has given you over and that He can’t save you. Let the world trust in their “Absalom” and in the wisdom of its “evil advisors”. But let us shout with David that the Lord is our defender and the LIFTER OF MY HEAD! It is God Himself that will trample those proud enemies of our soul from their high seats. It is God Himself who exalts the lowly and the poor in spirit. It is He that will be glorified and magnified in our troubles, it is indeed our God who lifts our heads by preparing a feast for us in the presence of our enemies. It is He alone that has the power to restore, indeed from death to life, it is He alone that has the power to work all things for the good of those that love Him, it is He alone, in all His splendor and majesty that lifts our heads high. May we all rejoice in the magnificence of our Great God!