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! Selah Psalm 3:5-8 ESV
The first line of this Psalm initially sounded humorous as I pened the blog after laying awake till 3A.M, “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.” Usually, if I’m struggling to sleep (which is rare), I start to pray from bed and drift off, but my ears kept sharply attuned to every creak of the walls and hung to each sound in the neighborhood. My mind kept racing through the night. Our water heater had just broken so I even went outside to check on it. Relived that it had not somehow caught on fire as the gas company warned, I came back and tried to get some rest. Next, Nathan woke up having had a bad dream and wanted to sleep with me. Now both of us lay awake tossing and turning and the clock kept ticking Silently, I asked God what He would have me do. The thought of blogging came to mind. Then, my computer started making loud noises so I thought, “Well if you want me to write I can’t do it with Nathan in the room.” Seconds later Nathan tells me he’s scared of my room—for the first time—ever! I ask if he wants to go back upstairs to his room and he submissively obliges. That was what God used to encourage me to write and I pray that He uses it to edify and encourage the saints for His glory.
We pick up the Psalms in chapter three verse four and David is being chased for his life by his own son and thousands of others that were supposed to be on his side. The text doesn’t say how long since he had slept, but the fact that he appreciates his ability to sleep suggest he had previously struggled to give rest to his eyes in fear of being overtaken at night. From 2 Samuel 15-16, we learn that David fled barefoot and weeping. He has been humiliated and overcome by sorrow. He now boldly rests in God’s strength. However, the situation has not changed, “I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” His son is still trying to kill him while he leads a revolt against his kingdom. I imagine his heart must have hurt knowing his own sin precipitated violence in his house to some degree. Yet, His hope was in God’s steadfast love. “Even the believer who suffers from wrong choices in his past, God causes all things to work together for the good for those who love him (Rom. 8:28)” (Dr. Lawson, Psalms 1-75, p. 31-32) Futhermore, David’s son was not only rebelling against him as an earthly father and king but railing against the King of kings—God himself.
As a mom, my most earnest prayer for my children is for them to come to faith in the only one who can save them from their sin— Christ. Even after watching my beloved suffer until he drew his last breath, some of the hardest times of heartache in the past have been times of despair over the spiritual state of my children. See, I know without a doubt that my husband is in heaven. David came to a place where he knew without a doubt that God would deliver him. In verse seven he does not question but proclaims, “Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.” It also appears that David also got to a place where he longed to see God’s will before his own. Even though David may not have seen how his recent situation would work out for good not how we would get out of it, he trusted in God fully for salvation. The psalm closes with, “Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah” Thus, we too have trust in Him alone for salvation. When we lay down at night we don’t have to be overtaken by fear—we can lay our anxieties to rest upon our Savior! “There may be no way of escape; they may hem me in as the deer are surrounded by a circle of hunters; they may surround me on every side, but in the name of God I will dash through them; or, if I remain in the midst of them, yet shall they not hurt me; I shall be free in my very prison.” (Spurgeon, Treasury of David)
O God, in this life may our hearts ever be contrite like David’s in this psalm, that we never tire of crying out to you alone for salvation, in the small and big battles, and grant us the same degree of faith to match our pleas.