As much as this psalm is short and on appearance straight forward I found it very challenging, requiring much re-reading, thought and prayer. I do not regret taking my time over this psalm, I am glad I did so. I would encourage anyone to do the same, God will reward such study of His Word.
v.1-2 – This psalm was written by David during or after the time that he fled for his life from his son Absalom. His son sought to replace him as the King and made many promises to people to secure a growing support for his rebellion. There is a comparison that can drawn between David and our Lord Jesus, many were those who sought their demise. Indeed an armed multitude faced our Lord in Gethsemane to arrest Him. We the children of God are no different in that many may seek our downfall in this world, sometimes more violently so for our brethren in other countries where their faith may cost them their very life.
v.3 – This verse impresses me personally: the shield of God is not just a front facing shield! It is a “shield about me” protecting all sides, Amen! His protection is such that He lifts the head of David, giving him confidence. We should also remember that it is Almighty God that protects us, His children, what better reason can there be to stand with our heads held high?
v.4 – David prayed audibly voicing his anguish. It is a level of prayer that would serve us well to copy, as our Lord Jesus did in Gethsemane when He was troubled (Matt.26:39, Heb. 5:7). David has confidence that God hears such sincere prayer.
v.5 – Such is the faith of David in his God, he prays and leaves his burden with Him in complete confidence. Hence he is able to sleep soundly. God is also faithful, in that He sustains those who trust Him with their prayers. This is an important point, we should offer our worries to God in prayer, and leave them there!
v.6 – David had been a man of courage his whole life, who can forget his bravery before Goliath the giant of Gath. This courage is not from David himself but from his foundation in God’s Word and in trusting God. Our courage in the face of trials big and small comes from confidence in our Father God (Psalm 27:1-3).
v.7 – Here David calls for God to stand with him and for him against his enemies. Our Lord Christ didn’t have this luxury on the cross of Calvary, He was on His own with the burden of all humanities sins as God turned His back on Him, His Son. Stop and ponder the enormity of that awful moment, and thank Him for it! We like David have God by our side facing our trials. God strikes the ungodly with contempt who stand against His children. Striking someone on the cheek is particularly insulting in the Word of God (Job16:10). Often in scripture evil/satan is likened to roaring lions, whose power is in their jaws.Rejoice saints for the Lord God shatters the teeth of the ungodly, removing their power!
v.8 – In this last verse salvation is linked to the beginning where David’s enemies declare there is no deliverance (salvation) for him. But the psalmist declares here that it is not for any man to claim who has salvation, for it is God alone who delivers Salvation.
The parting phrase from David is a prayer for those persecuting him, for the people of Israel. it reminds me of Jesus prayer on the cross; “Father forgive them…”
It is a worthwhile lesson to follow that we should bless those who would hurt us by “not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1Peter 3.9.
Psalm 3 is undoubtedly a psalm of Salvation, that is only found by prayer and faith in God alone. Through this we can find peace in our trials, by the Grace of God.
Dear Father God, thank You for the truth of Psalm 3, that You alone are the source of my Salvation. I surrender all my worries to You and trust You to provide and protect for my needs. Amen.