Psalm 3 | Be Prepared

DAVID GOFF | may 13, 2020

 

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
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.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

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Psalm 3

 

 

During the fall of 2015, ten individuals were dropped off on Vancouver Island to see how long they could survive in the wilderness with only a limited amount of survival gear. The one who would last the longest would go home $500,000 richer. That was the setup for the first season of the History Channel’s Alone, TV Series.

 

As it turned out, it was Alan Kay of Georgia who became the winner by overcoming many difficulties, including losing 60lbs and lasting an impressive 56 days on the island. On the other hand, Josh Chavez of Ohio had the most humiliating performance of all, barely surviving 24 hours on the island.

 

It was during Josh’s first night that he woke to feel a bear breathing on his back through his tarp!! Fearing for his life, Josh was terrified and “tapped out” by using his satellite phone to be rescued. Although the possibility of bears was known from the start, he lacked the mental preparation required to endure the challenges of the island. Rather than victory, this law enforcement officer and hunter left the island teary-eyed and humiliated.

 

In a spiritual sense, we too can be unprepared for the troubles we will face in life. And when those troubles hit, we can feel alone, vulnerable, without motivation, and our problems may ultimately do us in. But that doesn’t need to be us.

 

In Psalm 3, we see that King David also had to deal with a great many trials in his life. Yet, God’s grace prepared him for the victory. It made all the difference in his life, and it can do so in our lives as well.

 

Let’s consider two truths, from this passage, to help us prepare for whatever trials life may bring:

 

 

 

Be ready to face trouble in your life

 

In this Psalm, we see King David reflect upon the great trouble brought on by his son Absalom. Problems began to emerge years earlier when Absalom had David’s son Ammon killed. Because of this, Absalom fled from his home for three years before carefully returning home to Jerusalem.  

 

Not long after his return, Absalom began to commit treasonous acts against his father, David. Through deceit and telling the Israelites what they wanted to hear - Absalom sought to take his father’s throne. In 2 Samuel 15:6, it says, “…Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” In this endeavor, he had many join in, and the “conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number” (2 Samuel 15:12).

 

Fearing for his life, David and many of his servants departed Jerusalem in fear. It was in this state of deeply personal and public trouble that David lamented:

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” (1-2)

I can’t imagine the emotions that David had to endure as his son lead this conspiracy against him. Verse 2 shows that he also had to deal with the added hardship of discouragement, as many would question God’s ability to help him (2).

In our lives, just like David, our troubles can seem to multiply and rise to the point of hopelessness. As much as we might prefer a problem-free existence, this should not be our expectation.

In fact, the Bible says that we are to expect trouble in our lives. We see this in 1 Peter 4:12, where it says not to think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is about to afflict us. You see, when troubles come our way, we should not be caught off guard. Our problems are not out of God’s plan. It even happens to royalty like David. None of us are spared.

Now, you might be wondering - exactly how can we be prepared to deal with the problems of life?

 

God’s grace prepares us for the victory

Despite the trouble that David was facing - he relied on the grace of God to sustain him and to save him.

In verses 3-6, David beautifully describes the many ways that the Lord sustained him through this time:

·       “You, O Lord are a shield for me” (3a) - He is our defender against the evil one.

·       “The one who lifts up my head” (3b) - He provides us hope to begin a new day even though we may anticipate difficulties.

·       “He heard me from His holy hill” (4) - He listens to our prayers.

·       “The Lord sustained me” (5) - He provides for our spiritual and physical needs.

·       “I will not be afraid” (6) - He is our source of courage in the face of daunting odds.

In our own lives, what a great comfort it is to know that the Jesus who sustains us is also able to sympathize with us. For he was tempted as we were, yet he did not sin. This ensures us that “we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

 

On our own, we will be unprepared for the troubles of life. It will only lead us to feel alone, vulnerable, without motivation, and may ultimately do us in. Yet, we can be prepared for the victory when we trust in our faithful and sovereign God.

 

 

David Goff is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington MI