Saturday, March 30, 2013

Psalm 3: Our Shield

Ever been in physical danger?  This psalm was written when David was forced to flee from his son Absalom.  This is the first recording of a historical setting, it refers to 2 Samuel 15 & 16.  Here's the scoop; while David had been occupied with the affairs of the government his son Absalom stole the heart of the people and raised a rebellion in the nearby town of Hebron.  The revolt was so sudden and unexpected that David had no recourse but to flee Jerusalem with whatever leaders remained faithful to him.  To the desert they went.  David's heart was broken, he was weeping, barefoot, and his head was covered with sorrow.  Ever been there?  David was devastated.  His own son betrayed him.

We may not be facing an imminent military battle most mornings, but we are facing some battle (job, children, spouse, legal issue...).  Whatever distresses you that is precisely when you will find The Deliverer!  Here is the mountain top point:  turn your attention away from the battle and onto God.  When a believer gazes too long at his enemy, the force arrayed against him seems to grow bigger and bigger until it appears overwhelming!  But when he turns his thoughts to God, God is seen in his true, great stature and the enemy shrinks to manageable proportions.  In the midst of these struggles we must remember God's promises.  "Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, lest they depart from your heart...",  Deuteronomy encourages us.

I remember going through a really difficult struggle that went on for months and months and I finally came to my end.  Prostrate on the floor I cried out to the Lord and instantly Philippians 4:8-9 flooded my mind.  "...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."  Spiritual hymns started pouring out of me like a warm blanket of protection.  I will never forget that moment.  It was at that exact moment when everything changed.  The dark cloud that had hovered over me for so long vanished.

Switching your focus off the issue and onto God and His plan changes things.  When you start listing that which is true and noble and of good report suddenly everything is different.  It's like mumbling over a flat tire but remember that someone you know is suffering from illness in the hospital.  It's a change in perspective.  It's swapping your turmoil for God's grace, peace, and strength.

Spurgeon said, "We need not fear a frowning world while we rejoice in a prayer-hearing God."  Verse 5 is a beautiful picture of one so trusting in God that he is able to sleep soundly even while the treacherous seeks his life.  David is pointing out some important points:
1.  God is a 'shield' around us.
2.  God lifted-up his head from a downcast posture.  Sin & strife beat us down.
3.  God answers when we cry out to Him.
A confidence is expressed in the hope of the next morning.  The psalmist went to sleep trusting God and awakened with the events of the day firmly in God's hands.  God shows up and provided.  He caused Absalom to listen to bad advice and failed to pursue and defeat his father when he was most vulnerable.  When battle engaged, after David gathered strength and prepared for it, David's troops achieved a great victory!  Sadly, his son died that day.

Salvation comes from the Lord.  God is indeed the author of salvation from beginning to end.  So why tremble before the lesser, physical dangers of this life?  Triumph in faith!!  Start your morning off with everything in God's hands...sound like a good day to me!

My prayer journal is a testimony to the Lord's victory in my life and for those I have prayer on behalf of.  I treasure being reminded of how God has answered petitions and prayers.  My viewpoint is so small but God's is vast and wide and deep.  Allow yourself a quiet confidence in the midst of distress- and sleep well!

Coram Deo,

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