Psalm Three

David is in the midst of fleeing from his usurping son Absalom and he cries out to God for deliverance.  David declares to God that his enemies are numerous and many attack him (1).  He has enemies plural.  Having an enemy singular is unpleasant enough but enemies plural is obviously worse.  David has fled Jerusalem and the throne.  Ahithophel is advising his son Absalom and this man has been described as giving counsel as God would speak.  David is in serious trouble.  Many are attacking him.

Not only are many attacking him, many are saying that God won’t deliver him (2).  This is probably a combination of thinking David’s sin has led God to forsake him and/or the circumstances are against him.  David responds to the accusations by declaring how God relates to him.  God is a shield that protects David (3).  God is the one who provides safety for David.  Furthermore, God is David’s glory.  God is most precious to David.  God is also the one who restores David.  He does not look to man, he looks to God.

David says that he cried out to the LORD and the LORD answered him from his holy hill (Mount Zion in Jerusalem) (4).  As a result of God answering him, David laid down and slept.  This is great trust, to be willing to lay down to sleep when you are in danger and to be peaceful enough to actually sleep.  After sleeping, he woke up alive because God had kept him safe.  David is not afraid of the multitude of enemies who attack him from every direction because God is his shield (v. 3), God answered him (v. 4), and God protects him (v. 5).  David does not fear because he has God (6).

Now, David turns to his petition for help (7).  He asks god to rise up and deliver him.  He has already expressed his confidence in God (cf. vv. 3-6).  He expresses his need (7a).  Then he expresses confidence in God once more (7b).  David firmly trusts that God will fight for him and defeat his enemies.  He believes that God will judge the wicked.

David concludes the psalm by declaring, “The LORD delivers” (8a).  He has experienced the deliverance of God prior to this and anticipates God’s intervention once more.  David also has experience the favor of God before and trusts so much in the character of God that he proclaims, “You show favor to your people” (8b).  David trusts deeply in the character of God, his God (v. 7a) and he believes God will deliver him from his multitude of enemies because God is faithful and good.

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