Psalm, chapter three. I want you to know that today’s Psalm is very applicable to life. The first couple of Psalms were more theological in concept. This is now more relating to the theological concepts. Truthfully, we saw on the first two psalms, if you were here for the first couple of Psalm. Psalm chapter one describes the life of a follower of the Lord as one who was like a tree planted by the streams whose leaves never wither. They never fed. You’re always bearing fruit. Even in times of winter, winter looks like around us and we can’t wait for spring, right? We’re in 10th winter now and we long for spring to see life again. The description of a believer rooted in the Lord is that it’s a tree that never withers. It always bears fruit and it directs us to God’s word.
Is that foundation to supply for us the sustainability in the Lord as we turn to him to see the truth of who he is. Beautiful description of the power of God’s word and the joy of God’s people as they bear fruit. The trick in your life if you don’t bear fruit isn’t to try harder at bearing fruit. The trick of life or the purpose of life is not to really address the fruit at all, but rather get to the root, which is Jesus. When you examine fruit to see if it’s healthy, but the fruit’s not healthy. You don’t try harder at making fruit. You get deeper in Jesus and so Psalm chapter one is that. Psalm chapter two reminds us of the kingship of who God is, the real identity of Jesus is crazy. We’re in Psalm chapter two, which is before the coming of Jesus and Pasalm chapter two is all about Jesus, but it shows the kingship of who Christ is.
Those foundations of our life are important because in that identity we then live our lives. But Psalm chapter three rises up as a real story book to how life goes, that you have your belief, right? Then there is life. There’s a poem that goes something like, to dwell above with those we love, now that will be the glory, but to dwell below with those we know now that’s a different story, right? So you can have your truth, but when you come face to face with a challenge, how do you respond? That will determine where your faith really is. And so this journey that we’re on with Jesus, none of us are perfect.
I really wish I could read Psalm three and tell you, and I’ve done this just the better than anyone in life, right? But the truth is it’s messy. When you read the Psalms, you see that the book of Psalms, it’s teaching us how to worship the Lord, and most particularly in the mess of what life is. What does it mean to connect your heart and the adversity of what you experience day to day. It’s one thing to say you follow God when it’s easy. But where is your faith when it’s difficult? Psalm chapter three presents the adversity in relational strain.
Meaning do you ever had a close friend that wounded you? It’s those kinds of relationships that cut deep. I think Satan longs for moments like that. God is a god of unity. God is a God of reconciliation. Sin is about division and Satan therefore is about division. Whatever he can do to disrupt your life, to discourage you, to deter you, to distract you, to isolate you. That’s when he longs for, because in those moments he can pick you off. And so there are things that we go through in life that can wound us. And it seems, especially in relationship, the closer the relationship, the deeper those wounds can go.
When you look at in Psalm chapter three, the background to the Psalm is got David in a place where he is feeling overwhelmed due to personal attacks. David’s wounds aren’t just relational wounds, they’re family rooms. In Second Samuel Chapter 15, he tells a story of his son Absalom. Actually it starts the chapter before this, but his son Absalom, leads the Kingdom of Israel against David.
I’m going to just read these few verses. It says in verse 13, then the messenger came to David saying the hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom. David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, arise and let us flee for otherwise, none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword. If you read the story of … This should be second Samuel. I don’t know why I put king’s up there, but it should say second Samuel. But if you read the story here in this section of scripture, you’ll see starting in verse 12, David has sinned, at Nathan, the prophet comes before David and confront him. David confesses, writes psalm 51 funds restoration in the Lord in that, but for Absalom I don’t think that was enough.
Absalom finds himself outside of the castle or, or where David rules and reigns and people were coming from the city to talk to the king about matters that they’re facing. And rather than let them come to the king, Absalom deters them and takes that position and he starts to win the heart of the people and point people away from the king to him to the point that he leads a revolt. Do you think about losing your own life? Then you read the story of Absalom and that sort of pit of this, about to experiences you’ve had that have maybe rubbed you wrong, and now you look at this story. I can say for us it’s easy to look at Absalom in these moments and just his at his behavior and think how horrible is Absalom? But can I just tell you, I think it’s easy to get to this point. Maybe that sounds like a little bit of a leap for you, but just give me the moment to just explain. The position of Absalom is easy to take in life because hurt people hurt people.
Everyone feels justified in the way that they react to how people act towards them, which unfortunately breeds further hate. Hurt people, hurt people, and that’s why it becomes easy to take a position like Absalom. Now, most likely none of us are ever going to be before the king, right? Deterring all of the nation away from the king. But in whatever scenario of authority you might carry in this world, you can use that position to leverage in your favor and turn against other people. You think about this type of description, the Old Testament, you called him Absalom type people. The people that stay at the gate that deter people from other people that say bad things about them. In the New Testament, Jesus didn’t refer to them as Absalom’s. What Jesus referred to them as, as wolves. He said that in Matthew Chapter Seven, and in Matthew chapter 10, he didn’t just call them wolves. He called them wolves in sheep’s clothing.
That’s an interesting way to think about this, but the thing about wolves is that wolves never think they’re wolves. Wolves don’t walk around in the life around us and be like, hey guys, you probably should stay away from me. I am a Wolf, right? Wolves never think that they’re wolves. When you encounter a wolf, here’s what a wall thinks. They’re just misunderstood sheep. That’s dangerous. Now, maybe in your life you’ll say, you know, I’ve never been a Wolf, I wouldn’t describe myself as a wolf, but let me just ask you.
Have you ever been more concerned with wanting people to your side rather than Jesus’s? Do you care more about what people think of you than Christ? If you ever walk in life with a position like that and you’re wounded, rest assured that what you will emulate, will replicate the life of a wolf or Absalom. Now, when we read a psalm like this, not just position this psalm written about Absalom, so the danger is to say evil Absalom. We’ll be over here with the good people. But I just want us to recognize when we read this psalm, there’s always a risk within our own hearts to emulate that very behavior.
I don’t say this like I just want to go out and attack somebody rather what I would prefer to see in every soul starting with mine, because I you guys, if I could just say points in my life when things get hard, it is difficult sometimes to bite your tongue, right? But can I remind you, it’s rare to have to apologize for things you never say. Let me take that to Facebook this week please. You won’t have to apologize for things you don’t say. Are you more concerned with what people think of you or of Jesus? Remember Psalm two, Jesus is king and that’s where psalm three meets us.
Psalm three is saying, okay, Absalom, he could have been wounded here. Maybe this is why he reacted this way. And David in psalm three could say, okay, now I’m wounded and I’m king and it’s about to go down, right? I think David knows this is a struggle in every human heart, which is why not only does this song become about his life, but he writes the psalm so it can be applicable all of our lives.
And so with that, let me just read these opening verses. So you can see based on Second Samuel Chapter 15 how David then describes this circumstance. He says, oh Lord, how many adversaries have increased? Many are rising up against me. You’ve been there, right? It may not. … Maybe someone has turned against you or hurt you in your life, and maybe truthfully, it’s only been just a couple of people. But in those moments, because those wounds are deep, it feels like everybody. And in that world that you live in, it might be everybody, but many are saying of my soul, there is no deliverance for him in God.
One of the worst feelings alone, helpless. When David is describing this verse one many are against me, he’s using this terminology in military terms. He’s saying, I’m just one guy and an army standing against me. And then in verse two, when he’s describing this ability of what people are leveraging over him, how he’s feeling in these moments alone and helpless, and they’re saying in these moments like God can save almost anybody except for David. Then he ends sailor. Now there’s a little bit of a debate over what this word, how this word exactly translates or what’s it represents.
But most people think that this word you’ll see you often reflected throughout the Psalms that this is a moment of pause, maybe a transition for some musical accompaniment that goes to the psalms because the psalms are songs that they would sing in worship as prayer before the Lord. Well, this is where David pauses and he’s sort of saying to your heart here, and I’ll just reflect on this moment and I think David knows the reason we reflect on this moment is because we can reflect on this moment is because we’ve all been here and this is where this psalm becomes personal.
How does this feel? How do you respond? The things that you say to your soul in this moment becomes a place of a faith moment. Will you trust him? The toxicity of those statements, is that the words, the opinions of people that you allowed to be spoken into your heart. Or do you exercise faith in another way? And this is where David goes in verse three, he says this, but you is this contrasting thought like well guys, pinnacle moment in our life when we face adversity and the way that our soul is tearing staring us and how we feel, the way you respond determines where your faith rest, what you’re made of like is psalm one and psalm two just an idea that you state with your mind or is it something you live out with your life? Where do you trust.
The opinions of others? Or the truth of the Lord. He says this but you, but you, oh Lord, you can live in the pain of that moment or alternative, but you, oh Lord are a shield about me. My Glory and the one who lifts my head. David gives this one truth, and he chooses to allow this truth to become the foundation for how he will move in this trouble. It’s to say to you right now. If someone does something against you, you take the truth of Psalm one, you take the truth of Psalm two. You realize now you’ve got to walk in this world and it’s not always going to be roses making the decision right now. How you’re going to respond become significant in those moments.
David chooses the truth of this foundation in this moment to be the answer to his trouble, and the phrase that he uses here is incredible. He says this, but you all lord, and the identification now of what he chooses to walk in. Am I going to take the opinions or the identity of God? But you, oh Lord are a shield about me.
Now for us that’s a pretty cool term. If you’re in trouble and you just want to make up a god that is something for you. Like that would be a good one, right? I’m going through hard stuff, but God is a shield but if God isn’t really a shield, I mean that’s not gonna matter much, right? But the term that David uses here is it would have been incredible for Israel. I know, in our minds sometimes we don’t always see the history behind a statement that’s made. But for Israel in these moments, this phrase that David chooses is powerful. And when you see it, it becomes incredible for us David and these moments he’s writing before Israel, they’re aware of the challenges. He’s talking about this psalm to engage them in worship, to provoke their hearts when they face adversity, and he says this, guys, you can walk in this, but Lord, he is this.
And for Israel, this phrase had tremendous meaning. This statement was what God told to Abraham the first time it was used in scripture. Remember God called Abraham and said through him, he would bless all nations. He would make his children as numerous as the sand. God brought a covenant with Abraham, and God fulfilled this covenant with Abraham and he didn’t have Abraham promise anything. That’s Genesis 15. When God identifies himself to Abraham before they make this covenant, look what God says as himself. Not someone else. Look what God says of himself. Do not fear Abraham. I am a shield. When David wrote those words in Psalm three, this king back to the very identity of the Jewish people, this is where we started. We are children of Abraham. God was a shield to Abraham.
God was a shield to David. But it didn’t just end there. If you read the book of Deuteronomy, the book of Deuteronomy is Moses preaching his final message to Israel before he does. Deuteronomy chapter 34, Deuteronomy has 34 chapters, right? But Deuteronomy chapter 34, Moses didn’t write. But Deuteronomy chapter 33 the last chapter that Moses writes, the very last verse before he dies, what does he say to Israel? Israel, Verse 29. God is your shield. When David takes this phrase and connects it even to the book of Psalms, what he’s saying to Israel is the consistency of who God has been can be experienced in our lives. When we put our faith in him above the adversity that we go through. Those moments are faith moments that demonstrate in your heart what you truly trust in, and so David writing this in the Psalm, he knew exactly what he was saying and he’s trying to tie the heart of God’s people to say, look, this isn’t just me because I’m a king.
This is everyone that belongs to the Lord. This is who god is for you. God is your shield. You can try to rise up and defend yourself, but What David’s saying, but I promise what God will do for you as far better than anything that you can do for yourself. Do you trust that? You will never walk in this Psalm unless you believe that? David could have spent the rest of his life trying to go before everyone that disagree with him and try to convince them otherwise, but for what? Just so in the end he looks great, and you know the likelihood of convincing someone else’s heart that’s against you. You got to let your character speak for itself.
David, when he writes this Psalm, he’s saying, look guys, you get the more than anything, what Satan wants you to do is just get distracted and start pursuing what other people think of you rather than live in what God says about you. If he can discourage you, if he can deter you, if he can distract you, that is what he would prefer. But if you can just rest in the shield that is the Lord and you can just move in that far greater is your life and glorifying him, than trying to please the opinions of other people. And so David, by identifying the shield becomes important for us and look, he doesn’t just say that, look how personal verse three is guys. All these people were saying this, but he says this, you are about me. You are a shield about me.
David says, my glory and the lifter of my head. What he’s choosing to make personal in this moment isn’t the relationship to the people, but his relationship before his God. God, you are my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head. Now, David’s not saying in these moments is about his glory. What he’s saying rather is the only reason he receives any glory at all is because the glory of God made known in his life, and that’s why he’s saying this first God, you are the lifter of my head. And this description is incredible. Again, because this is a king, right? And in the phrase he’s actually describing God as the true king. In David’s Day, what would happen is the king would hear cases of people in different positions, but if the king didn’t agree with your case, he would come before you and put his foot on the back of your neck. But he was for you. He would lift your head.
Now, David in these moments hasn’t lived the perfect life. He’s sinned before Israel. Psalm 51, he confesses that before God and he comes before God and God reconciles him before him. So God is not looking for your perfection, he’s looking for your heart. And the humility of coming before this king, what does he see his God do? Lifts his head. God is for you. That truth is the pinnacle to this chapter. Do you believe that? Do you believe that what God would do for you is greater than what you could do for yourself? Because of that David choosing talk to walk in that truth, this psalm, this thought continues to be echoed throughout scripture.
If it’s any indication or lives just how much we struggle to live this out. The rest of the Bible should be that indication. I just highlighted a few verses for us to even think about when it relates to now our relationship in light of what God is demonstrating before David in Psalm 51, this is the Psalm that David wrote in the mid sole of his sin. He says this for you, God did not delight in sacrifices. Otherwise, I would give it. You’re not pleased with burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. Oh God, you will not despise.
We can look at these moments, be okay, it’s great for David. What about me? I’m not King David, right? But David identifies something here that in our lives sometimes we recognize we need God and sometimes our tendency is to try to manipulate God. We’d show up with all these things to give to God, hoping that God is pleased with me. And he describes that in the beginning Israel, when they sinned or they saw a church, they would just go to church and they would do the church thing so that God would be happy with them, and David starts off God’s primary interests in your life isn’t just the sacrifice. You don’t go up and just perform this religious work and think that that pleases God.
What God wants is your heart, and when God has your heart out of a love for him, you’ll do things that glorify him in this world. But it doesn’t start with you living religiously. It starts with you relationally before the Lord. And here’s what you need to know in those moments when you feel broken, when you feel distant, God is closer to you than ever before. That’s what psalm 51 says, a broken and contrite heart. And let me just tell you, you could be the very reason you’re there. It could be your fault that things blew up in your face. It could. That’s what Psalm 51 is, is David. It’s his fault that he’s in this moment, and how’s God going to embrace him? What’s he gonna do? Just religiously start doing things and hope in God. Do you love me God, God do you love me now? God, do you love me now? No. God loves you in your sin. That and that’s the beauty of Jesus. That’s the beauty of the cross because there is hope for everybody, and that broken spirit, God wants to be the shield.
Throughout the rest of scripture it’s like God’s trying to convince us of that same truth because we all struggle with it. Psalm 55, cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken or even new testament, 1st Peter 5:7 cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Do you know what the next verse says? Because your adversary or you’re the devil, roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour. That’s Psalm three. Satan would love nothing more than to use the disunity to distract you, deter you, discourage you, but rather than walk in that, take the burden and say, God, you are my shield.
David uses the rest of the psalm to just discuss the fruit of that thought. He says in Psalm 3:4,5 I was crying to the Lord with my voice and look, he answered me from his Holy Mountain, [inaudible 00:23:46]. He rests here. He could’ve rested in the statements of the others, the opinions of the people, but rather he finds himself resting in this truth. Has He ever responded in the flesh rather than in the spirit, and then try to come before God feels gross, doesn’t it? You know you blew it. Now, I’ll tell you a Psalm 51:17 a broken spirit God receives, right? You don’t have to apologize for the things you don’t say, rather in the beauty of choosing Jesus as your shield. You go before the holy mountain with clean hands before your God.
David sang in the Psalm, I could’ve walked in repentance over just the filth that I created by hurt people, hurting people, but rather choosing God as my shield, I came before his holy mountain. That opportunity to come before God’s presence rather than listen to the opinions of people, and it says in verse five I laid down and slept and I woke up for the Lord sustains me. How great is that to know what the end of the day you keep your integrity, and so what happens? Well, the rest of the world can show the rear end. But me, I can close my eyes at night. Why? ‘Cause I don’t feel like I have to defend me. Jesus is my defender and what he’s going to do is far greater than anything I could do myself. I’m going to rest right here. So in verse six I will not be afraid of 10,000 of people who have set themselves against me. I mean, could you imagine the alternative here? What are you going to live for?
The opinions of 10,000 people and try to please that or an audience of one who is the Lord? You can put people on a pedestal and try to convince every person in the world about who is who it is. They think they should think that you are, or you can stop asking everyone who they want you to be and start asking who God has declared you to be. You will never live for your purpose if opinions of people matter more than the truth of Jesus. You will never live a healthy life of opinions of people guide you rather than Christ. Could you imagine being King David in these moments. I can even imagine having 10,000 opinions of me, right? I don’t even want one. So keep it to yourself today, right? I just want to live for the Lord, man.
Could you imagine being a king and trying to just please the opinions of all of these people he would have … And trying to do that would have never done anything for God in his life because he was too concerned with everything else. And so he’s showing these positions of 10,000 people, he could please in his life or the Lord. How much easier it is in life just to say, you know, God, I want people to be happy. I want people to see the best in me. But at the end of the day, what matters to me more is the opinion of you, than their opinion of me. I’m just going to walk with integrity and let you take care of it. Verse seven and eight. You should say, Arise oh, Lord, save me.
Oh my God. For you smitten all my enemies on the cheek, and you had shattered the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing be upon your people. Say La. Oh rise a lord and save me. It’s David’s request in this moment. Beautiful requests. I don’t think it’s a bad thing just to say, God, I’m going through this hardship. I’m going to live for your glory, but could you in these moments rescue. He uses the example. He’s saying, God, I’ve seen it before. You smitten the enemies. You shattered their teeth. Now, I don’t think God’s literally come in and bust the teeth out of people’s mouths. But what are you saying is to me, God, they’ve looked like a lion, and then I realized when they came in for the attack, you defamed them.
They didn’t have anything to sink their teeth into my flesh. Because you were for me, and I walked with you. He says, the salvation belongs to the Lord. God is your salvation. We are not her salvation. So why does this Psalm exist? This Psalm isn’t a Psalm just of David’s struggles. This is a Psalm of David where we relate because we all face these battles. We need a regular reminder that Jesus is already that victory in the midst of living out the truth that God proclaims of himself and us placing our faith in him. People can give us deep wounds and Satan can use it. I know this morning I’m not saying anything profound, but the truth is, without these promises, without walking in faith in these promises, Satan can have his way in keeping you from living the beauty for which God has created you in him.
To deter you, to discourage you, to distract you, to sideline you in any way, but to walk by faith rather than opinion. David being this king could have followed suit in that way, but what Jesus says about you is more important than what other people of you. You’re gonna face adversity. Decide in your heart what will speak into your life. Push by opinions or lifted up by his presence. Jesus is that salvation. I think it’s important in all of our souls just to know the security of what it means to trust in Jesus. We saw last week in Psalm chapter two hundreds of years before Jesus, the coming of this king declared. Why? Because God wants your faith to rest there.
God wants you to see his authority above this world’s authority. God wants you to see this king coming on a rescue mission for your soul. So that if God brings resolution tomorrow and reconciliation tomorrow to the adversity you face, or God brings it six months from now, or God brings it in the future. Rest assure because he is king, God will bring it. God cares about every pain that you go through. God hates sin more than we hate sin. God cares about where your soul is. There is no pain that you will go through it in the life that God will not call to account and God, it tells us in scripture works all things together for good.
That’s what the cross is all about. The shame of the cross and the death of Jesus on the cross, the most despised moment in all of history becomes the symbol of our glory to say over your life to that same victory can be one if what? By faith you trust, and by faith you walk. Can I encourage you this morning, if you’ve not ever trusted in Jesus to see the goodness of this king that desires to be a shield over your life and say, God, I’m tired of fighting and being, even fighting against you. I want you as my shield. You have calm to rescue. Save me from my sins, rescue me. Let me live for that glory.
And for you as a believer, guys, to understand there will be adversity but what God called us to is so much greater and the promises that he gives her so much better than the promises that we can make for ourselves live by faith.