Psalm 3




Psalms 3 says, “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.  Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”


Every day has 24 hours. In every day there are the hours of light and hours of darkness. Life is like this. There will be times of darkness and times of great light. Sometimes the forces of evil will assault you and sometimes the worst assaults will be those who are closest to you turning against you. It happened to King David and it may happen to you. It could be a child, or a spouse, or a brother or a sister. Other than Adam and Eve’s sin the very next sin that man committed was the sin of a brother against a brother in murder. If people are not closely related to God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, then the closer their family relationships just could make a recipe for disaster. 


In such situations of great distress the world is going to say to you just what it says in Psalms 3:2, “Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.” Once again this is simply a lie of the devil, a fiery dart shot with the hope of piercing the shield of your faith. But the shield of faith is able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. The way to handle such a situation is the same way King David handled things when his own family turned against him: keep trusting in Jesus. When bad things happen to you and people try to tell you God is not helping you, or that God is punishing you, what you need to do is remember the promises of God. Jesus said, “I will never leave thee, or forsake thee.” Jesus also said in the Gospel of John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to youThere will always be comfort found in Jesus even in the face of your own family seeking to kill you. King David’s son sought to kill him, and the world said to him that God had abandoned him, and the response of David is given in verse 3. It says, “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”


There are three important points to this verse. The first is that God is your shield. A shield protects from attack. We live in a violent world, and you are going to be attacked. There are robbers, murderers, and rapists. There are wars and gangs and even senseless violence. But God will protect you from all of these things. God is your shield. King David was cast down from his position of power as ruler of a country sought by armies of men and forced to hide in caves, but he understood that even in such situations God was his shield. No one can harm you physically unless God allows it to happen because God is your shield. That does not mean, however, to avoid practical decisions to get out of harm’s way.


Of course the main attacks that the children of God need to concern themselves with are spiritual attacks.  Ephesians 6:11-16 says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked


The shield of faith is your faith in the promises of God. What are some examples of common attacks on a person’s faith and the promises of God which shield you from those attacks? One of the most basic truths has to do with forgiveness of sins. Everyone is a sinner. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Most likely all of us fail many times a day. The key to success is to keep confessing your sins. I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” One of the most common spiritual attacks that will come against you is the lie that you can lose your salvation, and another is the doubt of whether or not God will forgive you whenever you fail. Jesus already died for all your sins, even the ones you have not committed yet. There is plenty of grace to be found in time of need. When you have grown a little in your faith, this will no longer be an issue. The secret is to know yourself and what your own strengths and weaknesses are. If you know your own weaknesses then you know what to be on your guard against regarding spiritual attacks, and you also know the ways in which you need to try to rely upon God more as your shield. Perhaps two of the most important verses in the Bible regarding this principle are Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” And First Corinthians 10:13 which says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The shield of God will never fail just as His promises never fail, and just as Jesus has never failed. If you apply these verses anytime you are attacked by the devil or by your own lust, you will not fail. Of course, if you do fail, then there is always forgiveness. Sometimes the secret to not failing is simply to be patient and endure.


The second thing that David recognized in verse three was that God is His glory. What is glory? A good visual depiction of glory is to look into the heavens at the stars and the nebula. The Bible says the heavens declare the glory of God. And when we look at the vast beauty of space and all it contains in color and power, and when we view the light emitted in so beautiful a way from all the spheres and comets, the best word to describe it is indeed “glory.” To look into the brightness of the sun, to look beyond into the mysterious and seemingly endless reaches of space which stretch out galaxy after galaxy, stars which shine so brightly, zillions of stars that shine brighter than the sun and from so far away, we can hardly imagine their brilliance and their glory. A king or a leader of a country is quite familiar with “glory” in the earthly sense. Kings receive the admiration of a nation’s people, their praise, their flattery, the wealth and the riches and the power. But despite all those earthly glories that surrounded King David, he said even when they were taken away from him that God is His glory. When you look to the glory of God then the glories of this world will not lift you up in pride nor will you be discouraged and cast down when they are suddenly taken away. To truly understand glory you must be able to profess just as Revelation 4:11 does, “Thou art worthy, O LORD, to receive glory, honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” It is very easy for men to glory in their own achievements or status or abilities or to glory in the praise of other men. It is very easy to make this mistake. But glory belongs to God. It is important to remember this if you want to respond the way King David did when such troubles came upon him.


The third thing which David recognized in verse 3 is, “And the lifter up of mine head.” The philosophy of this world is love yourself more, promote yourself, brag and boast about your accomplishments. Prove how hardcore you are and how much better you are at something than someone else. This is exactly the opposite of what King David understood. It is God that lifts up. Let us look at some other examples in the Old Testament of how this phrase is used. Genesis 7:17, “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.” Most people are familiar with the story of how God destroyed the world with a flood. He covered the whole world with water, but there were 8 souls that trusted in Him and he lifted them up and protected them from that judgment. It is God that lifts up, and He lifts up those that trust in Him. Noah spent 100 years building the arc while the world ridiculed and mocked him. The world cast him down, but in God’s time he was lifted up.


Another verse is Exodus 35:25, “Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning To lift up can also mean to offer. Here it’s used in reference to sacrificing. Apparently men should lift up by offering unto the LORD. And of course, what God wants you to offer is the submission of your will in everything.


Another verse is Exodus 16:20, “Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank:  and Moses was wroth with them.” Have you heard the phrase manna from heaven?  God gave manna unto the children of Israel to provide for their needs when they wandered in the wilderness 40 years. This food fell from heaven and it was a wonderful and sweet food. But God told them that what they took and saved for the next day would spoil and rot for they were to only take what they needed for that day. Of course, the illustration is that we must rely upon God day by day for our physical and our spiritual needs. What happens to people that try to lift up their own heads? Of course, they do not rely on God. They rely on themselves or the glory of other men. This is vanity. Pride cometh before a fall, the Bible says. In other words if you do not do like David and trust in God to be the one to lift up your head, then the opposite is what will happen: everything will spoil and become worms. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” Lift up the Savior and nothing else and you will be doing as King David did. Glory is like gravity. Gravity can only pull things in one direction. True Glory is only in Christ.


David was cast from his position as king, his own family sought to kill him, and he responded by first recognizing these 3 things: The LORD is his shield, The Lord is his glory, and the Lord is the lifter up of his head.  The next thing David did was pray. Psalm 3:4 says, “I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” The only proper response to any situation before even reacting is to look to Jesus in prayer. True prayer is simply talking to God. But it is also more than just that. There are 2 powers God has given unto men. These powers are greater than anything else in the world and certainly not what most men think of when they think of power. These two things are God’s Word, and prayer. If you have a child and you love that child and that child asks you for something, what are you going to do? What if that child begs and pleads to you? What if that child is begging and pleading for something because of suffering or because of some cruelty the world has done unto him or her? As God’s child what do you think is going to happen when you pray to God? Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Do not be impatient: wait on the Lord. God hears, God always listens, and God always answers prayer. He may not answer your prayer for years. But if you want to see God do great things, you must pray. God moves men, and prayer moves God. It’s the way He made it to be. Jesus said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” Psalm 55:16-17, “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Think of all the things that men do and say with their voice. How different the world would be if men used their voices to cry unto God more.


Psalm 3:5-6 says, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of 10 thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.” A situation like King David’s would be easy to lose sleep over and to be afraid. Some people lay awake at night afraid that some crime may happen to them. Others lay away because of a troubled consciousness. Because King David trusted in God and prayed, he was able to lie down and sleep and awake, even though his world fell apart around him. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me.” The reason for such peace as David had is because He understood that God sustains. “I laid me down and slept; I awakened; for the LORD sustained me.” This word “sustained” is elsewhere translated in the Old Testament with the idea of to lean upon. God sustains those who lean upon Him. There is an old Hymn which says, “Leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms safe and secure from all alarms


Psalm 3:7 says, “Arise, O LORD; save me, o my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou has broken the teeth of the ungodly.” The philosophy of the world is to do unto others as they have done unto you. But Jesus said to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The human tendency, which is sinful, is to seek revenge on those who do evil unto us. But King David did not plot how he might get his power back, nor did he plot how he might assassinate Absalom. In fact he did not plot anything. He simply looked to God to save Him from His troubles and recognized that God will smite the enemies of his children.  “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I will repay.” Even with all your intelligence and plotting God can repay better than you ever could. God is just, and He is the one who will bring justice to all.


Psalm 3:8 says, “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD. Thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” The word Salvation carries with it the idea of deliverance, victory, and prosperity. Everyone who finds themselves in a dangerous, destructive, grievous circumstance usually desires to be saved out of it. Of course, you have to recognize the danger of the situation that you are in. The life of King David is filled with experiences in which God saved him time and time again from the most difficult and life threatening circumstances. After all what can be more difficult than to be a king and cast down from your thrown and your glory and to be hunted by those who have replaced you in power? Perhaps this is why the life of King David is used in the Old Testament to show God’s deliverance so many times. Many people will not face such extreme dangers as he did. If God can deliver him, God can certainly save you from your dire circumstances whether it be an illness, a trouble in the workplace, a trouble in your family, or something else.


Of course, spiritual salvation is more important than physical salvation. Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is a danger every man is in, but most do not see that danger. It is a danger from which Jesus only can rescue the world: it is the danger of eternal damnation for sin.


Psalm 75:6-7 says, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another The word promotion in this verse is the same word used in Psalms 3:3 which says “the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3 says, “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head Being saved from spiritual damnation for eternity is certainly a promotion. It is the highest promotion and the highest glory that can be given to men: to become a child of God, to become a joint heir with Christ the king of kings, to be given eternal life, to be given a destiny which is part of a new heaven and a new earth in which all tears and all suffering and all sin will be wiped away. This is salvation indeed, and it is promotion, and it is the lifting up of one’s head. It is possible because Jesus died for the sins of the world. He died for everyone: the murderers, the rapists, the leaders of the world who have committed genocide, the serial killers, the homosexuals, all the sinners of the earth of which in truth everyone is a part. He wants everyone to be saved.


There are, of course, a few important things to understand about deliverance and salvation. The main thing to remember is to wait on God. God does things in his timing and no one else’s. Wait on the Lord to deliver you. Even creation understands this principle and waits patiently. Romans 8:19 says, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God The hardest lessen for most men to learn will perhaps be to wait on God. This certainly has been the truth for me and for many, many others. Isaiah 64:4 says, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” He that endureth to the end shall be saved.


Notice that the last verse of Psalm chapter 3 says that Salvation belongs unto God. In the original language the word “belong” is not even used. It is simply stated in the possessive case: perhaps because this should be so obvious a truth. An emphasis on the fact that someone owns something or that something belongs to someone emphasizes their power and their control and their right to make the decisions. God has decided he wants to save everyone even from their physical predicaments that’s why he is going to make a new heaven and a new earth. If ever you are tempted to become impatient for some kind of deliverance, remember that Salvation belongs to God. Wait on Him. He will deliver you. This he has promised. And God always keeps His promises. The Bible says in Second Samuel 22:47, “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation





Copyright; 2011 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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