Psalm 3

Are these posts not interesting enough for you?  I must admit, most people these days aren’t drawn to reading the psalms on the internet – much less someone else’s personal prayers on them.  And why would they be?  Especially when there’s such good spiritual food on the internet upon which we can all reflect!  Celebrities and their affairs, politicians and their promises, companies and their products, scandals and facebook gossip – that’s what we’re interested in, right?

Why not take some time today, shut out the world, and give your undivided attention to God.  That may be a new thing for you, but if you are to grow closer to Him, and if you are to become the person He made you to be, you can’t neglect time with Him.  If you don’t know how to pray, pray along with me today through the 3rd Psalm:

Psalm 3

“O Lord, how many are my foes!”
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God.

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill.

I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people!

(Psalm 3)

“O Lord, how many are my foes!”

Enemies abound, but teach me to rightly recognize who is my enemy and who is not. My war is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness in high places. It’s true that there are enemies on the outside of me – people whose care and concern for me is non-existent; some of whom even mean me harm – but oh, how much greater are the enemies on the inside of me. My own pride, my thoughts, my desires, my laziness, my selfishness. These are the enemies I seek to slay. They are the ones whose weapons are powerful to destroy. May I ever be mindful of these, my unseen foes, even as I am tempted to direct my disdain at people whose lives are also attacked by the very same.

Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God.

Many mock the faith that I hold dear. They say that my hope is in vain. It’s misguided, misdirected, and based on a false worldview. I wish I could say that such people and their movements had little effect on me, but they do. It’s difficult to fathom so many people in the world being in such darkness where knowledge of the goodness and love of God are concerned. This difficulty often creates, in me, my own personal doubts. How could so many smart and accomplished people be so wrong about something so important? But at the end of the day, I see where such so-called “wisdom” leads. I see where it leads those on my world who have ignored You. I see how such “knowledge” has led us to an age of unspeakable atrocities of such an inhumane nature that I can’t meditate too much on them for fear of being driven to insanity. We, the human race, operate under the assumption that we have what it takes to create good lives for ourselves – but our assumptions have been proven false over and over and over again. We continue to struggle, hurt, fail, and die. My hope is not in such wisdom and knowledge – but in You. In Your Word – which is, of course, not contrary to true wisdom and knowledge, but complementary to it – as so many of our leaders through the ages have demonstrated. Even so, God – living in a world that either attacks or trivializes faith in you is not easy.

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill.

Even in the midst of such difficulty, You have always proven faithful in protecting me. When the enemies within, and even the enemies without, bear down on me and I find my soul to the point of such despair that death seems near, You always provide something. Encouragement. A word. A friend. A song. An opportunity. But most of all – Your presence. You are my glory – that which makes me valuable and meaningful. In lifting my head, You help me to look up to that which ultimately satisfies – Yourself. When I cry to You, You answer. Maybe not in my way or my time, but You’ve always answered. Thank you.

I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

Sleep escapes so many people I know. Rest is not a reality for them, but I must admit, this is not something I’ve struggled too much with. There have been seasons here and there when my slumber has been a bit disturbed, but all in all, You’ve always blessed me with being able to sleep and sleep well – regardless of what’s going on in my life. And when I wake, I am for the most part refreshed – You always give me a sense of the forthcoming victory in my life, even if the road between here and there requires hard work in order to traverse it. Sustainment. That’s what You give me, and I appreciate the blessing that I enjoy because of it.

I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.

People in my world would have no power over me if were not given to them from above. And if You’ve given it, You must have a reason. If they oppress or mistreat me, You must have a reason for allowing it. You see all possible situations and circumstances, You know what is in every human heart and You know what every person would freely choose given a certain set of circumstances. Because You are so all-knowing and all-powerful, I can trust that even those who may seem to attack or hurt me are being used for Your Kingdom and for my place in it. But knowing that intellectually is different from being able to feel it and to trust it. Help me, God, to connect what I know in my mind with what I feel in my heart and what I experience in in my hand.

Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

Hear me when I call to You, oh Lord. Destroy the enemies I fight, especially the ones within and the ones of my own creation. And the enemies without, I pray not for their destruction, but for the destruction of those things inside of them that keep them from knowing You. Death to those things in Jesus’ Name!

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people!

As I prayed in the first psalm, may I experience Your blessing. This above all else. Above all prosperity and popularity, above all pleasure and position, may I know Your blessing. Your favor. Your Presence in my life – now and forever. And may Your people in my world, and throughout the entire world, who are called by Your Name, experience the same. May your blessing be the ultimate prize of our lives, and may we all win the races that You’ve set out for us to run. Sustain us, direct our focus to you – even in the midst of a hostile crowd – and bring us safely to the finish line where you wait with the crown of Your presence. We look forward to the day when we can return home from the games and be with You in Your house. Until that day, though, may we represent You faithfully as we run. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Psalm 3

  1. Jacqui Spanos ( Australia)

    That was a beautiful commentary and prayer. In fades away the trials do life and brings Christ into clear focus. Thank you. 🙂

Comments are closed.