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Psalm 3: Rabble-Rousing Sons

Updated: Apr 21

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom. Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

I laughed when I first read this psalm’s heading. A psalm of David… while he casually runs away from his son. Just another day in the ancient kingdom, right? I usually think of psalms as pretty poems that David wrote while strumming his harp by the river without a shred of worry in sight. I frequently forget that many of David’s psalms were written while he was in the midst of deep distress, on the run, fearing for his life. In this particular instance, David was fleeing from his son Absalom, who had gained quite a following in Israel and was plotting to take over his throne.

Absalom died after he had his hair caught in a tree when riding under it during a battle

What can we learn from David as he navigates strange, scary, and uncertain times? Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! David went to the Lord with his problems. He acknowledged that things weren’t perfect, that he had enemies, and that he was in danger. Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. He recognized that others were challenging his faith, but he didn’t give in to their doubts. He affirmed that God was his comforter and protector. He believed that God had and would continue to answer his prayers. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! He declares that the Lord provides his strength. He can sleep at night and he can get through each day because God is with him. He doesn’t need to be afraid of his enemies even as they rally against him. Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. He asks God to bring about justice and deliverance. Striking his enemies on the jaw and breaking their teeth may sound pretty violent to us, but David was asking for GOD to deliver this justice, and not himself. God is the one who punishes evil, not us. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. He affirms that God will be the source of his deliverance, and asks for His blessing. Deliverence is a funny word. You get things delivered to you, like mail and pizza, but what is deliverance exactly. Deliverence is to be rescued or set free from something. God has already delivered us from sin and death, but he also cares about our current situations. Most of us probably aren’t running away from our rabble-rousing sons today (if you are, I'm so sorry and maybe we need to have a talk). We all have things we need to be delivered from though. Whether it is a conflict with your siblings, an argument with your parents, a disagreement with friends, a health issue, a school project that you think you will never finish, or even just the social isolation we are all going through now, all of those areas you need deliverance from God wants to bring restoration. He wants to be our deliverer.


Challenge: Write a prayer asking for God's deliverance. If you're feeling creative, write it like a poem. If you're not feeling creative, write how you would pray right now. Be specific in what you need God to "show up and do something" in and put you trust in him.


-Clare


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