Psa. 3:0 A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
Psa. 3:1 LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
Psa. 3:2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
The events that prompted this Psalm are told beginning in 2Samuel 15. David is facing many troubles and is overwhelmed by the number of his enemies. The Hebrew references “trouble” as being in a tight place, affliction, feeling crowded. David’s enemies are mocking him as one seemingly rejected by his God.
Selah = a suspension of music, a pause
Psa. 3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
David has not lost confidence in the Lord in spite of the circumstances. His faith is in God as his shield (protector), his glory (the source of his honor and riches), and the lifter up of his head (the one with the power and authority to place him in an exalted position).
Psa. 3:4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
David is confident that when he cries out to the Lord in prayer, he is heard. Why? Because he knows that God honors His word and will keep his promises to David.
2Sam. 7:28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
2Sam. 7:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
Psa. 3:5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
David’s is so secure in his faith in the Lord that he is able to lay down in peaceful sleep. He awakens with confidence that it is God who is sustaining him.
Psa. 3:6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
Though his enemies are numerous, he would not be afraid if they were tens of thousands in number.
Psa. 3:7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
It was interesting to look at the Hebrew for the word “arise”; it included “accomplish, confirm, make good, perform, strengthen, and succeed” among others. This is a call from David to the Lord asking Him to show Himself as Almighty God on David’s behalf. Even as he cries, David speaks of his request as a deed already accomplished.
Psa. 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
David began this Psalm with a troubled spirit and ends it with a spirit of praise and confidence in “Yhwh.” He knows that his deliverance will come through God’s sovereignty. He also knows that this deliverance will result in blessing upon the people of Israel since David will rule as a follower of God and will continue to point the people to God through word and example.
One of the reasons the Psalms of David are so wonderful is because he is so transparent with his heart. He’s vulnerable, he’s weak, he gets under the circumstances---but inevitably he ends up by expressing his faith and trust in God as righteous and faithful and true and The Source of all that he needs or wants.
It’s wonderful to be able to relate to a man with faults like me and know that God could still consider him a man “after God’s own heart.”
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.