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.” Selah
But you, O Lord, you 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. Selah
Psalm 3:1-4 ESV
Have you fought a battle where the odds seem to be against you? Josh fought a war against cancer. His body was brutally overcome by it, but his soul persevered to glory. Soon after his death, someone close to my heart told me to stop praying to God since He didn’t keep Josh alive. “There is no salvation for him in God.” These were the same mocking words David heard during a desperate time when he needed to be encouraged in his faith. He would have to find solace from God alone as he poured his raw emotions to the Lord in prayer.
David opens the psalm with an exclamation mark, which should draw us to feel his intense desperation. We get a picture of him surrounded by enemies on all sides, and the opposition growing steadily. He insists we take notice of just how many by his repetition of the word. The fearless leader of an evil rebellion opposing his rightful authority is not from a foreign army but from within his people. The war is not from afar—it hit close to home. It came from his own house. We can verbally hear the mockery from others. William S. Plumer in his commentary suggests the ones mocking him were David’s supposed friends. The cruse is not just hurled at his poor soul, but at God himself and His people. The distress would be insurmountable by human strength. Pause and think about being in a situation like that…
The words “But you, O Lord” break the silence. David turns to behold the Lord. We get a picture of the king of Israel humbly broken to tears, bowed before the Lord who is lifted high above the heavens. David does not see the Lord as far off but sitting on His glorious throne hearing His child’s cries. Thus, he was sure of his deliverance. “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain, that a man could strike his life on it a thousand times.” Martin Luther
I wonder in amazement at David’s confidence. Especially since the unraveling of his kingdom was at least in part of his own doing, as a consequence of his sin with Beersheba. His confidence did not come in himself. His faith was on God alone for his salvation. It was not based on his own power, but on his position before God. David heroically trusted hinged on the Lord choosing him to be His anointed. His position anchors his faith to pray with boldness. “…he trusted God to restore his crumbling life and grant deliverance in the midst of his humbling experience. Confidently, he claimed that the Lord would lift his head with courage and peace that only God could provide (Ps 9:13).” (Dr. Steve Lawson) If we walk by faith in Christ, we too, can have full confidence that the Lord will lift our head with joy. He may not deliver us in this life, but ultimate deliverance will one day be won for His people.