Psalm 3 was written by someone facing serious trouble: we’re talking career- changing, life-threatening trouble. If ever there was an occasion to pray, this was it. This is the first Psalm that identifies itself as having been written by King David of Israel. King David’s own son, Absalom, had initiated a military coup in order to secure his place as the next King of Israel. David was informed of the coup and fled Jerusalem in a panic with his household and servants in tow. These are the circumstances facing David when he penned this Psalm. Both his throne and his life were at stake. He was on the run, had no plan, and was uncertain who he could trust. Emotionally, he was a wreck. Think about it…his own son had betrayed him (2 Samuel 15:30).
What do you do when your world is turned upside down? I’ll tell you what David did. He turned to God. And that is what we should do as well. Tell God about your problem (vv. 1-3). David begins by telling God about his problem. The key principle is this: When facing life’s trials, glance at the problem, but gaze at God. You will never face a problem out of which God cannot deliver you. His deliverance may come in different ways: God may take away the problem. (I usually vote for that one.) Or, He may choose to strengthen you to face the problem. Either way, God proves Himself to be your strength and your shield. Take solace in God’s love and care (vv. 4-6). David cried out to God as the covenant Father of Israel over which God has appointed David as its rightful king. More specifically, David is crying out to God as a beloved son would to his Father in a time of great need.
The time David spent with God in prayer brought him great peace and confidence. Despite the overwhelming odds against him, David wrote, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.” That is a pretty incredible response, isn’t it? Here is David, on the run, life is in danger, in the middle of the wilderness, sleeping soundly. Sometimes we sleep fitfully because we are filled with anxiety. Some of us have the habit of conjuring up every bad thing that possibly could happen. We are champions of the “what-if” game. You can worry yourself to death with all of those, “what-ifs!” Philippians 4:6-7 gives us Gods’ prescription for worry. Rather than worry, David prayed, and in the process, he experienced God’s peace. And so can you!
Leave the results to God. Entrust your deliverance to Him (vv. 7-8). When crying out for God to destroy his enemies, David was not being vengeful. He was committing vengeance to God. He was asking God to deliver him. For David to survive, his enemies had to be destroyed. Apart from their defeat, he could have no lasting security. That is the reality of war in a fallen world. It was true then, and it is true today.
Psalm 3 concludes with a benediction—a blessing, if you will. David closes out this Psalm by extolling, “Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be upon your people!” God invites you to come to Him, to bring your troubles, to pour out your heart, just as David did. God is your shield and glory and hope. He wants to take all that anxiety and replace it with peace. God may not answer your prayer in the way that you desire. But he will respond in the way that is best for you; in the way that will best advance his purposes and plans for your life.
The question is, “Will you trust him as David did?”
Application / Challenge
- Tell God about your problem.
- Take comfort in His love and care.
- Leave the results to God — entrust your deliverance to Him!