Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PSALM 3

THE LORD HELPS HIS TROUBLED PEOPLE

A Psalm of David When He Fled from Absalom His Son.
1     Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
     Many are they who rise up against me.
2     Many are they who say of me,
     “There is no help for him in God.”      Selah
3     But You, O Lordare a shield for me,
     My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4     I cried to the Lord with my voice,
     And He heard me from His holy hill.      Selah
5    I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6   I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
     Who have set themselves against me all around.     
     Arise, O Lord!  Save me, O my God!
     For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
     You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8   Salvation belongs to the Lord.
     Your blessing is upon Your people.      Selah
 
What do you do when life falls apart?   David prayed.  He wrote Psalm 3, a prayer to God.
 
WHEN LIFE FALLS APART
Think of a time when you or someone you know was involved in a scandal or have been slandered against for something you were not guilty of.  Was it terrifying? shocking? or humiliating?  One day, you are living in harmony and the next you are the center of attention.  Your words are now on everyone’s lips as gossip abounds.  For a while anyway, we are more or less resigning from life—but, the events that took King David by surprise when his son Absalom led a revolt against him can’t compare.  
The Kings throne was literally being stolen away from him.  David had reigned for decades as one of the most powerful monarchs. His military power was legendary. He had extended Israel’s dominion far beyond its borders. He becomes wealthy living in a palace of splendor with his many wives and servants. He had the authority over the life or death over anyone whom he had dealings with. No one dared to get on his bad side.
But then David sinned with Bathsheba then ordered the death of her husband Uriah, in an attempt to cover his sin.  God gave a message to the prophet Nathan to convict David of his actions. David did repent and he was forgiven by God, but the consequences of his sin would never leave him. 
David’s oldest son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. Tamar’s brother, Absalom, took revenge by murdering Amnon. Absalom fled into exile for several years, but later was permitted to return. But after his return, David refused to see his wayward son for two years. The resentment built within the kingdom and Absalom began to seek out the grumbling people, offering himself as a more sympathetic leader than his father was.
Absalom put together a strong conspiracy. David realized that to survive, he had to flee Jerusalem immediately with all of his loyal supporters. David followed weeping, and walking barefoot with his head covered in shame.
Along the way a man named Shimei, from the family of  King Saul, came out as David passed by. He cursed at David and threw stones at him. He accused him of being a worthless man who had brought about his own downfall by being a man of bloodshed (2 Samuel 15 & 16).  Many whom he had thought were allies and friends had abandoned him and sided with his rebellious son.
Psalm 3 is referred to as the “Morning Psalm” (the following, Psalm 4 is the “Evening Psalm”.)   Upon waking in the morning, the guidance of Yahweh was the most important thing in his life he would rely on.  When life falls apart, you can experience God’s peace by laying hold of Him in believing prayer.
David begins by crying out to his God, Yahweh.  It is an intimate, personal cry for help. 
“O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul… ‘There is no deliverance for him in God.”   

David’s final exclamation, “Salvation belongs to the Lord,” shows that David was not depending on anything but acknowledges that any victory would come from God alone. When we cast ourselves on God alone for deliverance.   David’s final request, “Your blessing be upon Your people,” shows that David was not praying for himself only.  He was the anointed king of God’s people.  When David asked God to deliver him, he saw it in terms of God’s blessing His people.
A word about chastening…

Hebrews 12:5-11  “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.  For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons.  For what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

But if you are without chastening… then you are illegitimate and not sons.   We have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. So shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? Our Fathers chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful.  Nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

As "Children of God" we will share in Christ's glory.