O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. 2 So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” Interlude 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. 4 I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. 5 I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. 6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.
One day, a mother explained to her five-year-old daughter that if she chose to disobey her, she would have to live with the consequences. “Oh, Mommy!” she said with a terrified look on her face. “Please don’t make me live with the Consequences. I want to live here with you!”
We all live with consequences, don’t we? With the consequences of the choices we have made. Psalm 3 is David’s cry for help due to the betrayal by his own son Absalom, but to truly understand the betrayal we have to look further back into David’s life. David’s problems began with the sin of adultery as he took the wife of Uriah the Hittite, but it was soon followed with murder as David killed Uriah to try and cover up his sin. From this point onward, David had to live with the consequences of his sin. Years later, one of David’s sons, Amnon, raped his half-sister Tamar, this enraged Tamar’s full brother, Absalom who sought revenge, and got it, by killing Amnon. When David learned about Absalom’s crime, instead of dealing with him he allowed him to leave Jerusalem. David had committed the same crime, he too had , murdered over sexual sin and he had lost the moral authority to deal effectively with Absalom. In time, the undisciplined Absalom, who thought he was morally superior and a worthier leader than his father, mounted a rebellion. It was a rebellion that caught David completely by surprise; all he could do was flee on foot, weeping as he went. Think for a moment of the shame David must have felt being opposed and hunted down by his own son, yet he was reaping the consequences of the bad choices he had made. So, “the man after God’s heart” who had rejoiced in great victories was now characterized by failure, loneliness, and disappointment. Have you ever been there, have you ever felt like a failure because of the poor choices you have made? In the consequences of his poor choices David cries out to God and we see him experiencing the:
- PROBLEM verses 1-2.
There are times when we feel outnumbered and it all seemed like a hopeless mess. David cries out to God because he was dealing with the rising tide of disloyalty. Both family and friends have turned against him, now they have become enemies and they surround him. There are times when our situation makes us feel like giving up hope. Yet it was more than just how he felt, his enemies were saying that God had given up on him, that God was not going to deliver him. There are times when we feel like we are outnumbered and there are times when we are being told that we are. It not only seemed hopeless, but it was communicated to him that it was hopeless. Words can make a profound emotional impact upon us. Have you ever felt like the situation was hopeless, and then been told that it was?
- PRESENCE verses 3-4.
The problem is just a place where we come to know that more than anything else we need God’s presence in our life because we are powerless. Davis reveals two aspects to God’s power:
David refers to God as His shield, an instrument of defense and protection. When we come into the presence of God we step behind His shield of protection. God not only becomes our defense but His protection is all encompassing. David is shielded on all sides, protected from above, beneath, around, without and within. Sometimes we feel that our problems surround us but it is really God’s protection that encompasses us. We will never experience God’s power in the problem apart from His presence. Do your consequences cause you to turn to the creator or complaining? Whose presence are you going to do life in, the problems or the person of Jesus?
David then refers to God as his glory, David’s hope is not wrapped up in himself, his hope is wrapped up in God’s Presence. David is proclaiming that it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with God. The consequences of his sin have dethroned David he has no glory to show for his effort, earthly esteem is transient and fickle. As David cries out to God He answers from His holy mountain because unlike David, He is still on His throne radiating His glory. Many of us are blinded by the allure and brilliance of our own glory. It’s not until we experience the darkness of our consequences and our glory is dashed against the jagged rocks of sin that we truly realize He is our glory. It’s in the darkest moments of our life that his glory shines brightest. When we are passionate for His Presence, we have all that we really need. Who is your shield and glory, is it you striving to perform or God as you stop pretending and come into His presence?
- PERSPECTIVE (verse 3)
Many times when we fail we become downcast yet David teaches us that we don’t have to stare at the ground ruminating on our failure. It’s in the presence of God that our perspective changes and we look up because the Lord lifts us up. Often we have a false sense of looking up and our heads are held high because of pride. Yet in his presence we experience His power over the pain as He lifts our heads high not for our glory but so that we can see His. Pride never lifts up it always throws down but God wants to lifts us up in the midst of rejection and dejection. What is the source of your head being held high, is it your pride or His presence?
- PEACE verses 5-6.
Living with the consequences of sin can leave us feeling paralyzed by anxiety and inner turmoil. Instead of comfort we have conflict, we become tired and worn out yet in His presence we experience rest. Have you responded to the invitation to rest in Him? This is more than just good night’s sleep, it’s experiencing his peace in the problem. Even encircled by the consequences of our own sin, we can confidently face the worst when we are dependent on God’s Presence. Time with God replaces fear with faith, doubt gives way to depending and confiding in Him builds confidence.