Oh Lord, How Many Are my Foes! Psalms 3
Have you ever looked around to see events or circumstances rise against you? Have you ever felt surrounded by enemies from every quarter? Have you ever been in a situation such as this and realized that your own actions brought you to this place? David had just such an occasion when his son Absolom drove him from the throne. David learned that this would occur after Nathan the prophet concerning his sin with Bathsheba and against Uriah the Hittite confronted him.
How do you react then the walls begin to crash in? How do you deal with the circumstances knowing it was your own choices that led you to this? Lets us see, through the pen of David, why God calls him a man after his own heart. Let us learn how David survived though his enemies came from every side. Let us learn and then be found as a people after God's own heart.
David felt the crushing weight of his adversaries when he says “Many are rising against me”. David felt the weight of his foes all around. David's enemies taunted him with the threat that “there is no salvation for him in God”. Have you reflected on God's promises to his faithful? I will chastise and I will protect. Didn't he also promise that sin has consequences? It is time that we stop viewing God as some cosmic eraser that will remove from our lives the consequences of our actions. God never promised such nonsense. Satan would use our guilt and heap it upon us until there was no more hope. But it is a lie. David knew this because he thought correctly about God. God has promised forgiveness for those who ask in faith and in forgiveness there is no remembrance of past sins. If however, we seek salvation from our consequences, I would caution you that this is a shallow and shortsighted view of the real salvation that God offers. For you see, God does not deliver us from our consequences but through our consequences. Until we learn this, we will be tossed around by every wind of doctrine that teaches otherwise. God leaves us in our consequences not to weigh us down with the guilt of our past but to heap joy upon joy for the mercy granted us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Look at what David said about God, what he knew to be true. “But you O Lord are a shield about me, my glory, the lifter of my head.” When he felt defenseless he cried you O God are my shield. When he was despised he shouted you are my glorious one O God. When he was discouraged he embraced God as his joy. You see beloved, while we are in the pit of despair, God is our shield, our glory and the lifter of our head. David did not allow his emotions to dictate his actions. He rather, did what he knew was his only hope. He cried to the creator. He cried for his life. He sought after God with all that he was. When we cry aloud to him in prayer, he answers. After learning this, we have to do it. We have to cry to God and rely on him to “keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”. There can be no greater comfort in all the Earth than to know this truth. Where does your sin drive you? Do you reach out for God or turn from him in shame? Satan rules in our lives when we run from God in our sin. Satan laughs when we hide ourselves from the one that can release the bonds that weigh us down. David, a man after God's own heart, reached out for him. Of such comfort was the truth of Gods promise to David that even in the midst of all this turmoil, he was able to “lay down and sleep” because he knew the truth. It is and would be the Lord that would sustain him. Arise O Lord! Save me O my God. May I be counted among your faithful and may all your enemies be broken. Because of this I will have no fear. Though thousands are set against me, the Lord is my strength and the one who will sustain me. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Victory belongs to the Lord. I will have no fear.
Adapted from an original sermon on Psalms 3 by Alistair Begg.
- Steve Turquette