Psalm 3 Commentary
The second volume of Samuel chapter 15 provides context to this psalm. David is running away from the palace following a nearly successful military coup led by his own son Absalom. In this moment of great difficulty, David looks to his God for deliverance.
Prayer is never blind to the facts on the ground. David is outnumbered. But the LORD is a shield around David.
It is always easy to lecture a friend on the presence of the LORD as a shield in times of trouble. But the story is very different when trouble goes live in real-time. The problem quickly switches camp. It becomes a big question of faith. The LORD is my shield, but why didn’t the LORD protect me from a job loss. Probably this prayer was said by the fugitive David in the bush and away from the comfort and security of his palace.
Can this prayer be said in the midst of a major loss? David says yes. Many are comfortable saying this prayer before a loss but not after the loss or in the midst of a loss. For at this point, the conclusion is that all is gone. You can see the loss; others are able to see it and will verbalize the loss loudly: “God will not deliver him.” And you can see it for yourself: the LORD hasn’t delivered you and you are out of your blessing. Yet, like David, the saint can still pray: the LORD is my shield.
“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.”
In the moment when you feel like the LORD is too far away, remember that He is right there sustaining your life. He decided to let you sleep and He decided to wake you up in the morning. The LORD is always present, even in times of deep trouble. And from a broken position and in tears, let the saint say it: “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”
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